Editorial: Charity efforts highlight in stories making the headlines

By Scott Inglis

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Jessica Gordon held a dinner to raise money for Baby Watoto Uganda, a charity she is involved in. Photo/George Novak
Jessica Gordon held a dinner to raise money for Baby Watoto Uganda, a charity she is involved in. Photo/George Novak

As we draw to the close of another news week, here's my take on the good, bad and the ugly.

The Good

Two positive stories from yesterday caught my eye.

The first is the stylish black-tie dinner to raise money for four charities. Helping one charity is a big deal but four deserves special mention.

There are four women behind A Soiree Four Charity - Jessica Gordon, Denise Arnold, Lavina Good and Annah Stretton.

They're raising money for Baby Watoto Uganda, Cambodia Charitable Trust, Good Neighbour Food Rescue and RAW (Reclaim Another Woman).

What a terrific idea to combine the efforts of these fundraisers.

These women are trying to make a difference and their charities deserve all the help they can get.

I wish them all the best.

The second story is Greenpark School children raising money for children in Cambodia by printing and selling T-shirts. These kids are stars.

About time - this is my view on the extra funding for St John Ambulance.

This organisation is a charity so it is good to see the Government giving it some much-needed extra money (although a cynic would question the timing this close to an election).

We reported yesterday that ACC and the Health Ministry were giving St John an extra $6.8 million - which for the Western Bay means an extra nine frontline ambulance staff.

St John officers serve our community well and I am stoked this extra money means more lifesavers helping people when they need it.

St John should, however, be totally government funded.

The Bad

There is too much PC bureaucracy in our lives these days - but sometimes it is for good reason.

The case of the woman struck by a forklift at Mount Maunganui is a good example.

We reported on Wednesday that three companies were fined a total of almost $120,000 after a forklift at a kiwifruit pack house reversed into the woman, who sustained a broken ankle and a large leg laceration.

Three firms - LRK Trays, Mount Pack and Cool and Orora Packaging (formerly Amcor Packaging NZ) - were hit hard in the pocket in Tauranga District Court after failing to put in place proper rules to manage forklift risks. These fines were appropriate and hopefully send a strong signal to all employers to take worker safety seriously.

P is a scourge and it is concerning that criminals are breaking into businesses to steal dangerous chemicals to make the addictive drug.

Our front-page story yesterday featured the story of two men stealing hypophosphorous acid from a Mount Maunganui yard.

They fled when disturbed and may have burned themselves or dissolved their shoes with the acid.

This drug, and its associated crimes, are evil.

I hope the cops catch these two burglars and they are put behind bars.

And The Ugly

I shuddered when I read the story about the man impaled through the head with a 10cm hook and dragged with the chain at Affco's Rangiuru works.

Jason Matahiki was part of a team cleaning spreader hooks on a chain conveyer when he was hooked from behind.

It seems to me he is lucky not to have been killed. This accident, of course, should never have happened (just like the forklift one) and I am interested to find out the exact cause.

No doubt it will come out eventually and appropriate steps will be taken as a result.

The week's most disturbing story is the court case of the Tauranga man found guilty of trying to hire an undercover cop posing as a hitman to kill his elderly parents.

Sounds more like a movie than real life but a jury found Alan Francis Barlow guilty after a trial.

What on Earth would make someone commit such a heinous act?

This man is evil, his crime despicable and he deserves to spend many years in jail.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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