Why I love living in Wellington

Hero of the day – Dr Rob Carson

Hero - Dr Rob Carson

Hero - Dr Rob Carson

Boy falls off bike.

Boy has a headache.

Boy’s headache worsens.

Mum is a nurse and whips him to the local country hospital.

Boy begins to fall in and out of consciousness.

Doctor recognises bleeding on the brain. “Bugger – I’m only a GP. I’ll phone a neuro surgeon in Melbourne”.

Neuro surgeon tells doctor to drill a hole in boys head.

Doctor grabs his Black and Decker fitted with a 10mm drill bit and goes to work.

Boy survives.

Boy turns thirteen the next day.

Everyone happy, and alive.

Doctor a hero.

Listen to the interview with Dr Rob Carson, GP.

Rankin on Sunday

Christine Rankin on TVNZ's Sunday

Christine Rankin on TVNZ's Sunday

Christine Rankin appeared on Sunday last night.

Janet McIntyre read a statement from Margo McAuley’s sister. Christine Rankin read her own.

What possesses Christine Rankin to keep trying to justify her life to the nation? She should just be quiet. The more appropriate course of action would have been to accept the Family Commission position and then shut up. Just don’t engage with the media. Perhaps she’s using Glenda Hughes, who similarly instructed Tony Veitch to talk to the media when what he should have been doing was keeping his head down.

Christine Rankin knows how the media works. She knows that everything she says, especially now, will cause controversy. As hard as it is for her she needs to button her lip and take advice from the Prime Minister and only comment on things to do with families and children.

”As far as I’m concerned she’s been appointed a commissioner, one of seven in a part-time job, to advocate for families and particularly because of her expertise when it comes to abused children,” Mr Key said today.

”That’s what I want to hear her talking about and nothing else.”

Christine Rankin stupidly went on prime time television and made a statement that completely contradicts what Margo McAuley’s family believes happened – this only piques our interest.

Now we all want to know who is telling the truth.

Christine and Margo

Christine Rankin

Christine Rankin

I couldn’t understand why I was getting an extraordinary number of hits on my Margo McAuley blog post until I saw the Herald on Sunday.

A mainstream newspaper has finally revealed what many of us in Wellington have known for months – that Margo McAuley tragically took her own life in part because of her husband’s affair with Christine Rankin.

Six months after Margo McAuley’s funeral Christine Rankin is appointed a Family Commissioner.

Should we be concerned?

Christine Rankin confessed to Mark Sainsbury on the day after her appointment that after four marriages (the last to Margo McAuley’s ex-husband) she has “learned a lot”. The question would be, does whatever she has learned help her in any way to be a Family Commissioner?

Christine Rankin had an affair with the man that was married to Margo MacAuley, and in helping to break up that marriage, however under pressure that marriage was, added to Margo MacAuley’s grief that in turn led her into taking her own life.

Can Christine Rankin act appropriately as a Family Commissioner? Can National continue to support her appointment? Can National continue to support Paula Bennett who went behind Peter Dunne’s back to appoint her in the first place?

There will be more to come on this I’m sure.

Push Play stopped

The Sunday Star Times reported on May 3 that John Key and the National Government are following through on overhauling the sporting sector. This includes cutting budgets at SPARC, the agency that gave us Push Play and Mission On.

The jury is out on Mission On and whether it has provided impetus to young people to do things other than sit in front of a television or computer screen. Ironically Mission On was based around a website, and so Key immediately dismissed it as being a waste of tax money. In fact, Key suggested they could provide sporting equipment to every primary school in the country for the money spent on the Mission On site. This may have been true but it takes teachers to teach, and giving kids soccer balls is less than half the solution. And what do the 28,268 kiwi kids who have signed up to Mission On do once the website is closed down. National would have them join the local rugby club.

The Push Play campaign has surely been successful in getting New Zealanders to think about making healthy choices. “Take the stairs instead of the lift”, “Exercise for 30 minutes every day”…all of these little homilies, that I remember, are as a result of the long term Push Play campaign.

It seems ludicrous to me that a government that will, and is, witnessing an increase in obesity and associated health problems is removing this sort of encouragement from our daily lives. They say they will concentrate on providing funding to sports clubs. This will only target some of New Zealand.

The effectiveness of campaigns like Push Play and Mission On are difficult to measure. But that doesn’t mean we should throw them out.

SPARC are now going to align their strategy with National’s objectives – concentrating on school sport, children’s sport, high performance development and identification of our next sporting heroes. Anyone not already a member of a sports club will undoubtedly miss out.

Len Snee tragically killed – leave a tribute

Len Snee - RIP

Len Snee - RIP

Len Snee, Senior Constable with the New Zealand Police was tragically killed this morning while on duty in Napier.

I remember Len Snee from my student days at Central Hawkes Bay College. I looked up to him, partly because he was at least three years ahead of me and taller and much bigger, but also because he was one of those quiet confident types that seem to command respect just by being themselves.

I played the part of Oliver in the high school musical production in 1974 – I was a very skinny 13 year old kid. If my memory serves me correctly Len Snee played the part, somewhat reluctantly, of Mr Bumble. He was instructed to grow sideburns, no doubt in an attempt to mimic Harry Secombe who played that role in the 1968 film. Sideburns appeared forthwith. He was a man with a beard even at 17 years of age.

As well, Len Snee was admired by the girls – my sister can vouch for that. He was in the First XV and (again, forgive my shaky memory) was excellent at athletics. All of this no doubt assisted in his desire to be a police officer. In the mid seventies, growing up in a small country town, and with limited horizons, becoming a police officer would always be a good choice. Certainly better than working in a bank, or becoming a teacher.

So, even though I haven’t seen Len Snee for over thirty years, and even if I had there is a certainty that he might not recognise or remember me, I still feel somehow connected to the pain that his family is going through today. There’s a road at the end of the Takapau Plains called Snee Road. It sounds silly but every time I pass that road I’m reminded of Len Snee – regardless of how well I did or didn’t know him.

There will be many many people out there who will have fond and happy memories of Len. Please feel free to leave your comments here for his family and friends.

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