Sometimes when I am taken by a provocative mood, there is a book I leave on the coffee table in our lounge.

The title always gets people's attention - Slaves, women and homosexuals.

It never fails to raise the eyebrow of a visitor and more often than not prompts a few questions, but some people just do not want to ask.

The book explores issues affecting three people groups who have often been marginalised throughout history - slaves, women and homosexuals.


It is a confronting read.

As an aside, you might be surprised to know there are now more slaves in the world than ever.

The website provides eye opening information on the extent of slavery in the 21st century.

However, today I want to talk about women, in particular that very special group of women who are mothers.

The older I get, the more I value Mother's Day - and the more mindful I become of what a wonderful role model my mother was for me.

Mum passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 90.

She was an incredibly committed and caring mother throughout her entire adult life.

As frail as she was in her final years, her sacrificial love for her children never wavered. She was an amazing role model.

Although I had always loved and appreciated my mother, it was not until I was an adult that I really began to appreciate how fortunate I was to have been raised by a mother who was so selfless and loving.

I remember well the first family violence incident I attended after graduating from the police college.

I was only 19 and a little naive. I was a little shocked to be confronted with a couple who were almost my parent's age behaving so childishly.

I also clearly remember my feelings of inadequacy as I tried to work out what I should do and say, and the woman I was trying to help looking at me with contempt as she said, "Look at you, you're just a kid, what would you know?". She was right, I had no idea.

There are a number of reasons why that particular incident has been indelibly etched into my memory.

One was the distress I felt for the children of this woman.

Having been raised by such a caring, committed and selfless woman, I was deeply shocked to encounter a mother acting so selfishly and failing so miserably in her parental responsibilities. For the record, her husband was just as bad.

Which brings me back to being grateful.

I was very blessed to have been raised by such a loving and nurturing mother.

I am equally thankful to be married to a woman who is incredibly committed to being the best possible mother she can be to both our four "natural" children; plus the few 'extras' we have taken in over the years.

There is so much more I would like to say about this, but I am already pushing my word limit so will follow up with more next week.

You can contact Bruce at
Bruce Horne is a retired police inspector who was the Rotorua police area commander from 2003 to 2016.