Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 13
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For full terms and conditions: www.meadowlands.co.nz 124353-v2 By David McPherson CULTURAL diversity was the centre of attention at Keall House in Howick last week. Last August, nine organisations were recognised by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) for their contributions to community development and promoting cul- tural diversity. Among those was Te Roopu Awhina O Wairoa Trust. Unfortunately the trust was not able to be at the New Zealand Diversity Awards dinner at Te Papa in Wellington. So, the Human Rights Commi- sion came to the trust. Human Rights Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy was to present the award but had to withdraw. She says: “There are so many ways we can work positively for change and this award gives a great snapshot of what is available.” Instead the commission was represented by senior Maori man- agers Hemi and Paula Pirihi, and community worker Jessica Ngatai. The award recognises the pro- grammes the trust runs to promote the Maori language, history, and culture in the Howick community. Mr Pirihi has strong ties to How- ick, having moved to the area with his family from Opotiki in 1966. “I was raised at Torere on the East Coast and to come here to the Torere Whare was like being at home,” he says. “I have been a regular visitor to the whare with my children and their children. I thank you [the trust] for protecting the stories and history,” says Mr Pirihi. “The commission values the relationship it has with the trust and wants to build on that. “We acknowledge your achieve- ments to this point, we want to stay engaged and to support any other projects that we can.” “For the commission, it is all about connecting with the wider community and celebrating achievements.” Chairman John Dobson described the trust as the face of the volunteer organisation. “The whanau is the body and what we have achieved could not have hap- pened without the people.” He thanked the commission for its support and said he hoped the positive relationship would con- tinue for many years. “I cannot thank enough the peo- ple who get behind the trust. “The work they do and their efforts to bring understanding between different cultures in the community is amazing,” says Mr Dobson. The visitors from the HRC were welcomed by Reverend Tapu Laulu. “I was expecting to see Dame Susan but understand she has fam- ily issues to deal with. We all know that when whanau calls we jump,” he says. He congratulated the diverse group – including Samoan, Maori, Muslim, Indian, Swiss and Pakeha – who were there to mark the spe- cial occasion. “They just learned the haka this morning ... and did very well. “We all share a feeling of joy that you are here to celebrate with us,” he said. The trust is a voluntary group that provides reo, waiata and kapa haka classes at the centre and in local schools as well as special waioho (awakening) courses providing an introduction to local Maori culture for new settlers. People can talk to the trust about Maori cultural support for stu- dents, teachers, school principals, community leaders and parents in the Howick area. Among the projects it is associ- ated with is rebuilding the whare at the Garden of Memories in Uxbridge Road. Trust works for change Celebrating, from left, Te Roopu Awhina O Wairoa Trust chairman John Dobson, whaea Taini Drummond, Reverend Tapu Laulu, and Human Rights Commission senior Maori advisers Paula and Hemi Pirihi. Times photo Wayne Martin WEB ISSUES Police refute man’s claim POLICE say a man named on a website claiming to identify men who have tried to meet underage girls for sex is not and has never been a police employee. The man was named during an item on One News last Sunday night about the website www.sexpredators.co.nz. “ The information on this website is made available as a service to the community, to raise awareness of the dangers online and to discourage other predators from preying on young girls online,” the website states. The website has been taken down since the item aired on One News, but a cached version can still be viewed online. The website is understood to be under investigation by police. One of the men named on the website claimed to be a detective constable with the New Zealand Police based at the Ormiston Road station. He posted a message online asking the website’s administrators to contact him at the Ormiston Road station or on his cellphone. The man wrote that “legal action may be taken against you if you do not respond”. Counties Manukau Police communications manager Kimberley Mathews says: “Police can confirm that a man named by the website www. sexpredators.co.nz is not and has never been an employee of the New Zealand Police and does not work at the Ormiston Road police station. “The public can be assured information from the website has been handed over to police as part of the investigation. Anyone who has suspicions about someone they or their children have met online is encouraged to contact police immediately so the matter can be properly investigated.” People with concerns about the intentions of someone they or their child has met or is communicating with online can phone Counties Manukau Police on 261-1300.
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