Western Leader : December 7th 2010
3 WESTERN LEADER, DECEMBER 7, 2010 NEWS IN BRIEF Police complaints The Waitemata police district received more complaints than any other area in the country, according to Independent Police Conduct Authority's annual report. The district, which covers both Waitakere and the North Shore, topped the national list with 352 separate complaints. Wellington was second on the list with 280 and Counties Manukau third with 269. The authority accepted 2509 complaints nationwide during 2009-2010. Waitemata police district commander superintendent Bill Searle says he takes the matter seriously. ''Compared with other police districts Waitemata has traditionally recorded a relatively high number of complaints. ''That has declined sharply in recent months because of a series of initiatives being put in place. This includes training to reduce the number of complaints received,'' he says. ''The public can be assured that all complaints referred to police by the Independent Police Conduct Authority are and will be treated seriously and appropriately by the Waitemata police district,'' he says. Uninjured A motorist had to be cut out of his vehicle after hitting a lamp post on Don Buck Rd last Wednesday night. The accident happened just before 5pm near Massey High School after a ute left the road and hit a power pole. Henderson police senior sergeant Kim Stewart says the sole occupant was trapped for a short time. Mr Stewart says no other vehicles were involved. The man was left shaken but uninjured. 24/7 care soon Waitemata District Health Board chairman Lester Levy says Waitakere Hospital's Emergency Care Centre should be open 24/7 by the end of March 2011. ''We'd like to open sooner. Finding the required extra medical staff has been tough,'' he says. Emporium owners are starting over By NICOLA MURPHY Jerry Lamb and his wife Corey were trying to ease their workload when their store was struck by arsonists this year. Geoff's Emporium was set alight in the early hours of August 11 and the damage was extensive. A month later two con- tainers of precious salvaged stock were broken into and goods were stolen. Instead of spending less time on their business they are starting again and have spent the past few months recovering goods and finding new premises. They have just reopened for business at 7 Dora St in Henderson. The Lambs were on their first holiday in six years in Europe when the emporium was set alight on August 11. We dropped everything and hurried back to New Zea- land,'' he says. He wasn't prepared for the complete devastation'' when he returned. It was a major shock,'' he says. Mr Lamb estimates his insurance has only covered about 10 percent of what was lost. They have collected about 17 jumbo bins full of items that can be cleaned and sold again. The father-of-two has run the business for 20 years and was gradually easing out of his responsibilities there. It was supposed to be our retirement fund but we've had to start all over again,'' he says. He says rather than pass- ing on the legacy to his sons they are now helping him out. We are extremely angry but we are trying not to be bitter,'' he says. If we do, we'll go nuts. It hasn't just destroyed our lives but it's affected our staff as well.'' Mr Lamb hopes to shift Geoff's Emporium back to the old premises on Lincoln Rd around March next year. Building owner Bill Draper was fully insured and says he has not been too badly affec- ted. Heroes up for awards High-achieving: New Zealander of the Year category semifinalists Simon Matafai and Stephanie Harawira both say they feel honoured to be nominated. Photo: NICOLA MURPHY By NICOLA MURPHY THEY have been nominated for two different categories in the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year awards but Simon Matafai and Stephanie Harawira have one important thing in common. They both have a vision and are well on their way to achieving it. Mr Matafai has been shortlisted for Young New Zealander of the Year thanks to his dedication to helping others. He is the founder of several community groups including a gospel choir, a Samoan cultural identity group and a volunteer group. The Avondale resident juggles these roles with studying a double degree in law and arts and running his own music school, Matafai School of Music. The 22-year-old says he's excited to be shortlisted. Winning would be a great opportunity but I'm over the moon just to be a semifinalist,'' he says. It's a huge honour and it opens up a lot of doors.'' His life vision is to help others through music, politics and law. One of his goals is to estab- lish a family and criminal law firm for immigrant families who often do not know their rights and are affected by the language barrier. Stephanie Harawira is a semifinalist in the Local Heroes category. The Glen Eden resident is the co- founder of a trust called Eze- kiel 33 which has set up a food and clothing bank, offers assistance to young mums, budgeting classes and a re- homing programme. She has organised 15 free community events in the past five years. The trust also runs a drop- in centre in Henderson called The Underground. It opened in 2008 but Mrs Harawira says it was initially intended to be an office where people could go for help. People just started drop- ping in and that's when we thought: Oh, okay, we're a drop-in centre','' she says. Mrs Harawira says the nomination reflects the hard work carried out by the Eze- kiel 33 Trust. We don't do this for the acknowledgement but it does validate what we're doing,'' she says. National New Zealander of the Year awards manager Grant McCabe says the awards are held to recognise all the people in New Zealand who are doing great things. Three finalists from each category will be announced next week and the winners will be announced in Febru- ary next year.
December 3rd 2010
December 9th 2010