The importance of volunteers

June 17, 2014

The many thousands of people who give their time, energy and skill to help others is being celebrated in National Volunteer Week.

Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Jo Goodhew is encouraging people to take part:

“This is a week, co-ordinated annually by Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ), which is set aside to celebrate the contribution volunteers make in their communities,” says Mrs Goodhew.

This year’s theme is “Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te tangata.” Translated as “With your contribution and my contribution the people will live.”

The Maori proverb refers to co-operation and the combination of resources to get ahead. It suggests that if we pool our ideas, with equal respect for all parties, we will get a better result and everyone will benefit.

“I commend VNZ for selecting such an appropriate proverb. It really captures the essence of volunteering,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“Kiwis like to muck-in and help-out.  New Zealanders are among the best volunteers in the world with nearly a third of us volunteering collectively about 270 million hours every year.

“Our volunteers freely donate their time and energy to keep our communities running. They are the backbone of our sports and social groups, search and rescue organisations, and the arts and cultural sector.

“This government recognises the significant contribution of volunteers and is working to make resources and support more readily available to community organisations.”

 

Volunteers play an important role in our communities.

An active volunteer sector is a sign of a healthy communities and society.

Volunteers work with and for people in churches, interest groups, service and sports clubs and a whole range of other interest groups and organisations, including political parties.

Working in the latter isn’t usually regarded as community service but it is.

Wanting to make a positive difference is what motivates most members and candidates.

There’s always been an exception to this with paid union people adding to or replacing volunteers in parties on the left.

The Internet Mana Party has made an unwelcome addition to that – its candidates are being paid.

The problem with that is it’s impossible to know where their loyalties lie – with the party or the paymaster.


The People’s Report

June 17, 2014

The People’s Report – the result of the inquiry into violence funded by Owen Glenn – which was released yesterday claims a “dysfunctional” court system, “broken” social services and a binge-drinking culture form major barriers to protecting children and stopping family violence.

Its’ recommendations include:

  • Fragmented services brought to a single point of access;
  • A code of rights and an independent forum where victims and survivors can be heard and air their grievances;
  • Recognition child abuse and domestic violence happens in all parts of society and is often considered normal;
  • Address poverty and social differences and require agencies to collaborate;
  • Recognise professionals, frontline workers and legal professionals need better training.
There might be merit in the first two and the third is true – contrary to popular belief domestic violence and child abuse aren’t restricted to the poor and uneducated.
That spoils the imperative for the fourth point – addressing poverty and social differences.
There are very good reasons for addressing the causes of poverty but if domestic violence happens in all parts of society relieving poverty won’t solve the problem.
Another recommendation is to remove the presumption of innocence so the burden of proof falls on the alleged perpetrator.
That is a perversion of one of the tenets on which our justice system is built – that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.
Another contributing factor mentioned is binge drinking.
There are lots of good reasons for tackling that too – but does alcohol fuel violence or do violent people drink more?
I’ve seen lots of drunks who aren’t violent people sober and none have become violent when drunk.
Domestic violence and child abuse are dark stains on our society.
The causes are complex and solutions must be based on more than anecdotes.

The full report is here.


June 17 in history

June 17, 2014

1239 –  Edward Longshanks, English king, was born (d. 1307).

1462 – Vlad III the Impaler attempted to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.

1497 – Battle of Deptford Bridge – forces under King Henry VII defeated troops led by Michael An Gof.

1565  Matsunaga Hisahide assassinated the 13th Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru.

1579  Sir Francis Drake claimed a land he called Nova Albion (modern California) for England.

1631 Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spent more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

1691 Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Italian painter and architect, was born  (d. 1765).

1704 John Kay, English inventor of the flying shuttle, was born  (d. 1780)

1773 Cúcuta, Colombia was founded by Juana Rangel de Cuéllar.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Battle of Bunker Hill.

1789  In France, the Third Estate declared itself the National Assembly.

1839 In the Kingdom of Hawaii, Kamehameha III issued the Edict of toleration which gave Roman Catholics the freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands.

1843 The Wiarau Incident: New Zealand Company settlers and Ngati Toa clashed over the ownership of land in the Wairau Valley.

The Wairau incident

1863 Battle of Aldie in the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War.

1867 Henry Lawson, Australian poet, was born  (d. 1922).

1876 Indian Wars: Battle of the Rosebud – 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne led by Crazy Horse beat back General George Crook‘s forces at Rosebud Creek in Montana Territory.

1877  Indian Wars: Battle of White Bird Canyon – the Nez Perce defeated the US Cavalry at White Bird Canyon in the Idaho Territory.

1885 The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbour.

1898  The United States Navy Hospital Corps iwa established.

1900 Martin Bormann, Nazi official, was born  (d. 1945).

1901  The College Board introduced its first standardized test.

1910 Aurel Vlaicu performed the first flight of A. Vlaicu nr. 1.

1930  U.S. President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act into law.

1932  Bonus Army: around a thousand World War I veterans amassed at the United States Capitol as the U.S. Senate considered a bill that would give them certain benefits.

1933 Union Station Massacre: in Kansas City, Missouri, four FBI agents and captured fugitive Frank Nash were gunned down by gangsters attempting to free Nash.

1939  Last public guillotining in France. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was guillotined in Versailles.

1940  World War II: Operation Ariel began– Allied troops started to evacuate France, following Germany’s takeover of Paris and most of the nation.

1940 – World War II: sinking of the RMS Lancastria by the Luftwaffe.

1940 – World War II: the British Army’s 11th Hussars assaulted and took Fort Capuzzo in Libya from Italian forces.

1940 – The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania fell under the occupation of the Soviet Union.

1943 Barry Manilow, American musician, was born.

1944  Iceland declared independence from Denmark and became a republic.

1945 Ken Livingstone, English politician, was born.

1947 Paul Young, English singer and percussionist, was born  (d. 2000).

1948  A Douglas DC-6 carrying United Airlines Flight 624 crashed near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, killing all 43 people on board.

1950 Lee Tamahori, New Zealand film director, was born.

1953  Workers Uprising: in East Germany, the Soviet Union ordered a division of troops into East Berlin to quell a rebellion.

1957 Phil Chevron, Irish musician (The Pogues, The Radiators From Space), was born.

1958  The Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing being built connecting Vancouver and North Vancouver, Canada, collapses into the Burrard Inlet, killing many of the ironworkers and injuring others.

1958  The Wooden Roller Coaster at Playland, in the Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver, opened.

1960  The Nez Perce tribe was awarded $4 million for 7 million acres of land undervalued (4 cents/acre) in the 1863 treaty.

1961  The New Democratic Party of Canada was founded with the merger of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress.

1963  The United States Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in Abington School District v. Schempp against allowing the reciting of Bible verses and the Lord’s Prayer in public schools.

1963  A day after South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem announced the Joint Communique to end the Buddhist crisis, a riot involving around 2000 people breaks out, killing one.

1972  Watergate scandal: five White House operatives were arrested for burglary of the offices of the Democratic National Committee

1987  With the death of the last individual, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow became extinct.

1991  Apartheid: the South African Parliament repealed the Population Registration Act, which had required racial classification of all South Africans at birth.

1992  A ‘Joint Understanding’ agreement on arms reduction was signed by U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

1994 O.J. Simpson was arrested for the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Sourced from NZ history Online & Wikipedia


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