Western Leader : March 3rd 2011
5 WESTERN LEADER, MARCH 3, 2011 NEWS NEED AFFORDABLE SELF STORAGE? 117-133 Hepburn Road, Glendene Storage units perfect for house lot or vehicle or both For enquiries, please contact SAFESTORE CONTAINERS LTD 0800 360 640 www.safestorecontainers.co.nz • Three unit sizes • 24hr / 7 day access • Safe and Secure • Commercial/Household Voucher entitles bearer to: $100 off your 3rd month rental PLUS $100 off your 6th month rental Offers only valid for new contracts on a 6m unit at Glendene. Only one coupon per agreement. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Valid until 31st March 2011. Terms & conditions apply. $ $ 3547734AA DANNY DOES DEALS! You won't beat a Danny Deal! Look out for the yellow caravan Thousands of palms, thousands of deals. Danny's Palm Growing Company 96 Hobsonville Rd, Hobsonville www.dannyspalms.co.nz 021 442 313 Come See Danny For a Free Palm Upon presentation of this coupon. Offer ExpireS 13/03/2011 3m plus Queen Palms Now $99ea *Conditions apply* EYE EXAM* *Discount applies to full adult exam fee Westgate Optometrists, PH: 831-0202 Westgate Shopping Centre, Massey, opposite ANZ Full Exam fee to be paid if taking prescription away *Other conditions apply. Expires 31-03-11 Please bring this ad with you ½ PRICE IMPROVE YOUR ASTHMA Free assessment, consultations and medication. Come and participate in a free asthma trial and receive an assessment by a doctor. The trial consists of 5 (free) visits to your doctor over 5 months (for the trial only) and you receive inhalers to assist in the trial. To qualify you must be: between 16 and 65 yrs old; asthmatic; using a steroid inhaler and over the last 12 months have needed prednisone to treat your asthma. When you are accepted we will notify your doctor. Contact Work continuing Work on the new Westgate Town Centre is trucking along despite some hiccups, developer Mark Gunton says. The New Zealand Retail Property Group chairman says a few funding and planning issues were to be expected following the Auckland Council crossover, and a global economic downturn. Finding funding is always going to be a challenge, he says. But we ve stood the test of time. It s eight years and $32 million in the plan- ning. He says he is working through a process with council following its adoption of Waitakere City Council s plans. Have say on budget The Auckland Council is now seeking the public s thoughts on its draft budget for 2011/12. And with a rates rise of 4.9 percent likely, no doubt more than a few people will have something to say. The council s draft annual plan includes $1.8 billion for services across the region and $773 million for capital projects. It is also planning to align the way Aucklanders pay their rates. This would allow people to make four payments throughout the year. There are also plans to introduce a 1.5 percent discount for early pay- ment and a 10 percent penalty fee for those who are late. The Auckland Council s draft annual plan also includes Local Board Agreements which outline the plans for the region s 21 local boards for the 12 months starting from July 1. Households throughout the region will receive a summary of the council s draft budget in the mail and a freepost feedback form for ratepayers to fill in. Go to www.aucklandcouncil. govt.nz/annualplan for information. At peace after 10-year ordeal New start: The Shofi family has just finished its six-month programme with refugee services, partnering newcomers with community volunteers. From left: Yusuf Shofi, Bibi Janat Shofi, MD Yunus Shofi, Papia Banerjee, Cherie Broom and Miriam Shofi. Photo: JASON OXENHAM By HANNAH SPYKSMA ' When we arrived in Mt Roskill, we cried when we saw our beautiful house. ' Yunus Shofi Bibi Janat Shofi speaks five languages, makes fantastic chicken curry, grows the best tomatoes around -- and has scars the size of school rulers either side of her left knee. While the veggie garden and beautiful food in her Mt Roskill home bring comforts of a secure life, the scars that give her pain at night are a stark reminder of struggles her family faced to be in New Zealand. Bibi, known as Janat, hus- band MD Yunus, who goes by Yunus, and their two children are of Rohingyan ethnicity and are Burmese refugees. New Zealand is my second life, says Yunus, who recounts their harrowing 10-year journey to to safety. During 2000, while the world was celebrating a new millennium, the Shofis were fighting for their lives. In Arakan state of northwest Burma, political tension was worsening. The young family held a meeting at home to discuss the situ- ation. Before they knew what was happening, a rival politi- cal party opened fire on their house. Their home burned to the ground, Janat and Miriam were left with horrific scars and the family fled across the Burmese-Thai border. They ended up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and were there for 10 years, trying to make a living and get by. Before we came to New Zealand we had many troubles and difficulties. We cried and prayed for the future, Yunus says. After several years of attempts to be acknowledged as refugees by the Malaysian government, he and Janat were arrested and thrown into a detention camp. At the time, they had just been given official paperwork allowing the move to New Zealand. These documents were ripped up in front of them and thrown into the rubbish. If it wasn t for Yunus telling a friend their refugee number and getting him to contact the United Nations they might still be there now. Fortunately they were res- cued by United Nations staff after two and a half months imprisonment and finally sent on a plane to New Zea- land. When we arrived in Mt Roskill, we cried when we saw our beautiful house. It s a great relief to be here, especially for our kids edu- cation -- it gives them options for the future, Yunus says. Miriam, 11, and her brother Yusuf, 8, missed out on education in Malaysia, but they love their school and are settling into their new home. It is the Shofis positive attitude which stood out to Refugee Services volunteers Papia Banerjee and Cherie Broom. They are so positive and keen to help out with every- thing, Ms Broom says. Volunteers assist families in the first six months after arrival, helping them move into a new home, showing them around and generally being a point of support. The Shofis are at the end of their journey and have fin- ished working with the volunteers but say they will remain close. We never expected all these wonderful things to happen, the volunteers are part of our family now, Janat says. Things are finally coming together -- she and Yunus are continuing English classes so they can find better jobs and Miriam has finally had an operation to heal her scars from that horrific night. Eleven years seems a long time to be away from their homeland but the way this family sees it, they re six months into their new life. Refugee Services Aotearoa offers free volunteer courses for residents wanting to help new refugees settle in. Visit www.refugeeservices.org.nz for more information.
March 1st 2011
March 4th 2011