Apologies in advance for making your day more miserable than it need be, but a story about young murderers motivated me to find these internet articles on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder:
Category archive: Viewpoint
Note to self: Must stop going to the welcoming sunshine of Nelson. Not because I dislike the place – that’s impossible. It’s because the visits usually coincide with calamities of one sort or another.
First a giant squid washed ashore at Farewell Spit in 2011, then the next year, a mass stranding of pilot whales in Golden Bay in February 2017. And finally, last month’s Nelson fires – the worst in 60 years and the third worst in New Zealand’s history).
This year we asked some of our contributors to write about what the day meant to them. Their views show that there’s cause for celebration, potential for greater involvement and appreciation of the day’s significance. First off, freelance writer Chris Horan:
Like most New Zealanders I’ve never been to Waitangi and doubt I’ll ever get there. What I’ve seen on TV has very often been divisive. However, a few years ago I happened to be in Oamaru on Waitangi Day.The event was celebrated a few miles from town. We drove over a grass track through a field ready to harvest sun-flowers.
It’s a risky business looking beneath the surface of the social media midden, but hard to resist when the subject is close to your heart. I lived and worked in South Africa in 1963-64, where the reality of apartheid became a shocking formative experience for me. I’ve since keenly followed the politics of author Alan Paton’s ‘Cry The Beloved Country’, his lament for the arrival of a rigidly segregated country.
How quickly 2018 passed, Time now to pause, look back and reflect on your priorities in this brand New Year!
Personally I‘ve looked at the gains and achievements of the past year. From that I’ve also tried to find, and focus on a theme for the year ahead. There’s already an element here which needs more priority – and it lies in the simple but neglected word, gratitude.
There she was – laid out like a trophy on the back lawn. First I thought it was a Tui, my favourite bird. Ashamedly, I was relieved to find it was just a starling.
Just a Starling – didn’t it have just as much a right to live, free from urban predators? I knew immediately who the culprit was – ‘Daisy’, our over-fed house cat. The self-satisfied – ‘what me?’ – look on her face was more than sufficient to establish guilt.
This is my one-eyed look at last year’s political performances. I should have known better than to expect more than half-million-dollar ‘affordable’ houses from a Labour government. And the big policy announcement? Six hundred more teacher’s aides for special needs children. Surely that’s merely an admission that the ideological straight-jacket of inclusion has never suited all children.
The slow progression of attitudes to sharing the road with cyclists is much too fast for some drivers. The Otago Daily Times frequently publishers letters from drivers who are livid on the subject.
Despite the fact that most adult cyclists are also drivers, and that some people, no matter their mode of transport, are inconsiderate and selfish, the ‘livid’ drivers reserve their hatred for cyclists.
So the battle lines have been drawn. Drivers hate cyclists and cyclists hate drivers.