Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Botany and Ormiston Times Thursday April 14 2016
www.times.co.nz Botany and Ormiston Times, Thursday, April 14, 2016 — 5 SC3739 ■■ By Marianne Kelly Mount Roskill MP Phil Goff intends to take a strong stand with central government if Aucklanders vote him in as Mayor of the SuperCity. “ The political strength of the Mayor is to speak on behalf of the city to central government because it holds the purse strings,” he told a capacity crowd in Howick at a meeting organised by Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross. Mr Ross will be inviting the leading centre-right mayoral candidate to a future meeting. Mr Goff said he wants to counter the advice the Government gets from the Wellington bureaucrats and take an environment-based approach. “I will be working on what the evidence points to, not an idealistic approach. It will be about putting a case up that is irresistible to central government,” he says. “But when we argue a case for limited resources we will be asked what savings we can make from elsewhere. “We need to be able to say we are the best performing council; that we have done away with waste and duplication. But I don’t think we have. Eight councils have come together but I do not see enough evidence yet that the city is running efficiently. “I will not be saying that the rates will go up another 10 per cent. The first thing to do is get the act together and take hard decisions. It’s about doing more with less.” ■➤ Transport Rates alone cannot pay for infrastructure, he says. “I don’t mind about the private sector being involved and there will have to be a significant element of user-pays involved. “I don’t want to be elected on promises I can’t deliver.” A light rail system, he says, will have to be brought forward, for example, how Te Irirangi Drive is used. “It’s what every other modern city has put in place.” And opening more cycle ways linking schools for children to use is “not a silly green idea”, he says. “Our kids are the third most obese in the world and a lot of them could do with a bit of cycling.” politics Mayoral candidate outlines aspirations Auckland Mayoral candidate, Phil Goff, seated left, is reacquainted with his former teacher and school principal at Papatoetoe High School, Hugh Richards, right, at a meeting in Howick organised by Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, rear. Times photo Marianne Kelly Every year Farmers department store in Botany organises a fundraising event to help Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC) continue their important research. Shave for a Cure is Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand’s signature fundraising event for Kiwis diagnosed with a blood cancer or related condition every day. Over the past twelve years, thousands of Kiwis have registered, fundraised, had close shaves and shorn their locks off for LBC. Farmers’ stores, customers, friends and families raised $179,927 for LBC in 2015. This year they wanted to raise more! The Farmers store at the Botany Town Centre organised a community shave event last week and invited the outspoken television host and model Colin Mathura-Jeffree to host it. The host with eye-catching sparklers around his fingers kept everyone entertained as the staff of Farmers and other volunteers offered to shave off their tresses to raise funds for those suffering from the big C. Hairdressers from Rodney Wayne Botany were kept busy with their razors. When the former judge of New Zealand’s Next Top Model was asked if he was going to shave off his long locks, Mr Jeffree shot back saying he wouldn’t mind shaving the hair off his back instead! “But I’d need a lawn mower for it!” he laughed. Jonathan Davies, employee of Farmers Botany for 20 years, shaved his hair off for the sixth year in a row cheered on by store manager Wade Martin, organiser of the event Deval Shahane and events executive of Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand Aoife Healy. shave for a cure At the razor’s end Jonathan Davies an employee of Farmers Botany who shaved his head sixth year in succession, poses with television host Colin Mathura– Jeffree half way through the Shave for a Cure fundraiser. Times photo Wayne Martin Treated like a leper Dannemora resident Bernard Gomes reaches out to those affected by leprosy in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo supplied ■■ By farida Master Traditionally, lepers have been ostracised by society. Leprosy is a disease of the skin and nerves. Few Kiwis are aware that Leprosy Mission New Zealand (LMNZ) has been supporting those affected by leprosy in the bustling city of Chittagong, Bangladesh. LMNZ has a long partnership in the city of six million people which has one of the highest prevalence rates of leprosy in the country. With a number of projects operating in Chittagong for more than 10 years, currently, the third phase of a project has been co- funded by the NZ government. Wanting to give back to the country he comes from, Dannemora resident Bernard Gomes was part of a group of five volunteers including Ataur Rahman, the then Hon consul for Bangladesh, Leprosy Mission board member Phil Johnstone, medical doctor and businessman Dr Bashir Ahmed and gender specialist Purabi Bhuivan that recently visited Bangladesh. “If the government of New Zealand is supporting the project, what are the Bangladeshis who have settled here doing about it?” asked Mr Gomes who works at the Office of Ethnic Communities as a senior Diversity and Inclusion advisor within the Department of Internal Affairs. “We wanted to give the Bangladeshis who are well settled in New Zealand an opportunity to give back to their country of origin,” he says. A plan was devised to take a set of new skills to Bangladesh, such as gender awareness, business mentoring, and micro finance to self help groups, conflict resolution and women’s empowerment. Mr Gomes who has long worked with NGOs such as World Vision and Tear Fund says: “Leprosy happens in poverty stricken areas. And while Bangladesh says that it has been eradicated officially, many people are coming up with signs of leprosy every year.” Primarily the LMNZ worked on a micro-credit project that supports the city’s most marginalised people who have been stigmatised and robbed off their dignity. The total project budget is $1,500,000 over five years that includes $1,000,000 from New Zealand government and $500,000 from the LMNZ. The goal is to have sustainable savings and loans cooperative after five years serving 3,375 families. “We mentored and gave grants to those affected by leprosy.” The idea is to make them self reliant since many of them have been ostracised from society and live in the lap of poverty. Mr Gomes says that the group of volunteers returned to New Zealand with lots of inspiration to help people not only in Bangladesh but are thinking of now taking the successful model to China and India as well.
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