Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Botany and Ormiston Times Thursday March 26 2015
www.times.co.nz Botany and Ormiston Times, Thursday, March 26, 2015 — 3 welcome home KC10780 By Farida Master ■■ While stories of mass destruction caused by Cyclone Pam hitting the Pacific archipelago made world headlines, there were also tales of the irrepressible human spirit that surfaced. It was not only charitable organisations that reached out with desperately needed aid to the resilient islanders, but also individuals who packed their bags and caught the first available flight to Vanuatu. One such humanitarian is Kieran Meyer, former owner of the Cock and Bull pub chain, one of which was at Botany Town Centre. The Times contacted Mr Meyer on hearing that the former tavern owner who had built a house in the cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu had offered his own house as shelter to the homeless villagers. On his way to Vanuatu the following day, he was trying to gather whatever resources he thought would be useful to the villagers on the geographically fragmented nation in the middle of the ocean— with no power. “Right now, I’m taking with me solar lighting, solar chargers, head lamps and torches. What we really need is tarpaulins and chainsaws. But unfortunately the airline won’t allow chainsaws. “ The wiring is damaged in each of the huts and if they reconnect power it could cause electrocution. They have to be very careful. There are a lot of challenges involved.” Mr Meyer said: “It’s one thing seeing it on the news and quite another when you see the destruction in person. It is harrowing. The roof has blown off the hospital and all their mattresses are soaking wet. “A lot of water had soaked up the hospital supplies which is always in short supply. “ The hospital has very little Panadol, gloves or bandages. cyclone update Fatal impact on island Kieran Meyer, former owner of the Cock and Bull pubs, offered his newly built house as shelter to the homeless villagers in Vanuatu condolences Singapore founding father passes AUCKLAND Mayor Len Brown has offered his condolences to the people of Singapore on the death of their founding father, Lee Kuan Yew. Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s first and longest- serving prime minister and is considered the father of modern Singapore. He led Singapore for 31 years, from 1959 when it first won self- rule, through its declaration as a republic in 1965 until 1990. He retired from cabinet in 2011 attheageof87 and continued to play a significant role in the leadership of Singapore until his death. Mr Brown says Lee Kuan Yew was widely respected in the international realm of city- building, most notably transforming Singapore into an exemplar for modern urban and economic development. “His legacy includes the adoption of strategic land use, transport and environmental policies and programmes to transform the quality of Singapore’s urban environment in tandem with rapid economic growth,” he says. An international award bearing his name, the Lee Kwan Yew World City Prize, recognises cities for displaying good governance and innovation to bring about social, economic and environmental benefits in an holistic way to their communities; also to facilitate the sharing of sustainable urban development solutions easily replicable in other cities around the world. New Zealand’s links with Singapore are among the longest-established and closest in Asia. The two countries both have open economies and often take similar views internationally and regionally on trade issues. That relationship extends to the city level with Auckland, where close historical education, trading, investment and city-building ties form the foundation of the relationship. Everything is saturated,” he said of the cyclone that killed 24 people and displaced 3300 villagers. A community of subsistence farmers, the island nation has an uncertain future with their homes blown away. “ The villagers grow their own crops in the little gardens around their house. But now there is very little clear drinking water or food for survival.” Tourism has always been the mainstay of Vanuatu and now it will take years for them to overcome the setback, he said before taking off on a flight. Once in Vanuatu, Mr Meyer sent us pictures of the property with trees that had been uprooted with winds gusting at more than 185 miles per hour. “It’s overwhelming,” he said, trying to come to grips with the situation. A following email sent from his iPhone read: “A lot of clean up has been carried out. A friend had a chainsaw and is on his way down the drive to the house.” The day before going to press another email read: “Finally got a connection. We are living with no power but we have water and candles and mosquito coils. It’s funny how you take so many things for granted. “ The NiVans are typically amazing, they just shrug it off and treat the situation as just another hard circumstance. “Destroyed schools, medical clinics, roads, jobs, food pits and more. Many of the islands rely on rainwater collection and have lost their tanks and roofs. But they are generally happy. “ Thailand has the tag LOS (land of smiles), Vanuatu definitely owns that tag!” Trees were uprooted on Kieran Meyer’s property in the main island of Efate in Vanuatu. Photo supplied Lee Kuan Yew Photo supplied coMMunity enGaGeMent Everyday heroes From page 1 ■➤ Counties Manukau Police community engagement manager, inspector Richard Wilkie, says the event allows people to gain insight into the roles of the different services, making them more approachable and accessible. He says the Maori word kotahitanga meaning “together as one” is one of the principles of the event. Counties Manukau Police district commander Superintendent John Tims says the police are relishing the opportunity to continue engaging the community in the work they do. “ The event allows us to show everyone firsthand all the exciting things that happen behind the scenes, while keeping it engaging and fun.” Counties Manukau Police constable Roelof Burger riding the police motorbike which features at the Everyday Heroes event at Botany Town Centre. Times photo Wayne Martin.
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