Never take candy from strangers is a catch cry most of us parents preach to our kids.

Then we throw all that wisdom out the window for one day of the year and dress our kids up in crazy ghoulish costumes and encourage them to go out and beg for candy from strangers

Go figure huh?

When it comes to scary costumes worn by freaky people we could have been excused for thinking Halloween had come early last week when 'pretty in pink' Paula was ruling the roost for the day, while the PM's plane had run out of rubber bands, en route to India.

Was it a trick? Maybe, but it certainly was no treat.

When we peel back the layers of fear we carry it is interesting to recognise what does scare us.

For me there are all the usual suspects of scariness like: -

Arachnophobia (spiders), ophidiophobia (snakes) claustrophobia (confined spaces) dentophobia (dentist), physically being tortured and loved ones dying all freak me out.

While glossophobia (public speaking), astraphobia (thunder and lightning) and nyctophobia (darkness) turn me on more than they turn me off.

But the real scary monsters in my life come from people and places I cannot control.

Top of the horror list for me is President Vladimir Putin and the reheated cold war. The bare-chested, pony-riding Putin has recently showed a sinister side by realigning his nuclear capable missiles.

Right up the Russians' jacksie is the other military madman of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, who treats the stand-off with the South as a game of nuclear thrones, and he who pushes the button first wins.

The bronze medal belongs to the Republican Party of the Excited States and their loose-head candidate.

To entertain the thought of having Donald Trump in charge of the trigger is a nightmare equal to one I constantly have about the other two clowns.

Next, once the nuclear nightmare has been tranquillised with copious amounts of rescue remedy - and Paula has parked her pink jumpsuit - are the grim reapers in this country behind the black veil of methamphetamine.

What we are seeing more and more in our work with the homeless is the effect drug debt is having on the poor.

If the answer was to build more jails to lock up every gang member, have an army of drug dogs and customs officers guarding every sand dune, and opening every container entering the country, I would have hope.

But the reality is a new undetectable drug is already entering the underworld.

Waiting in the wings is a new nightmare called N Bombs. It is 10 times as lethal as P and as Australian authorities have admitted "we have no way of detecting it - yet".

In fact, N Bomb is guaranteed delivery into any country on the planet and given its branding, this is a button-free nuclear bomb that scares me as much as the missile variety.

This doesn't give a hospital pass to the other equally scary drug that 85 per cent of the country indulges in called alcohol and one of my biggest fears that I cannot control is losing my own or one of my family's life to a drunk driver.

Rounding out my fear factor for my family and whanau is pollutions and poisons. Everything I am reading about how we are wrecking our planet says we have almost gone past the line in the sand that says survival, and the inconvenient truth of profit before people is calling out like the last post karanga at a B Company funeral.

None more so than here in the Spray of Plenty where, in my opinion, we are piling on poisons in the form of agri-chemicals that make Rena look as if it had a harmless mimi in the harbour.
Yet no one marches or stamps their feet on the paepae.

Copper-based sprays have a shelf life of 65 years. This means they will still have a 50 per cent toxicity in 2080 - even if we stopped now, and the whenua our ancestors fought for 200 short years ago will be pirau.
This is a nightmare legacy we will leave for our kids.

Sometimes I wonder if we are clever or clowns when it comes to saving the planet and protecting our kids from bad buggers.

The optimist in me always turns to the wisdom of our ancestors in troubled times who knew that when the whenua was healthy so too were the people. Their proverb "we fear most what we understand least" is the lifeline I hold on to.

Arming ourselves and our tamariki with knowledge to understand and take away fear is the trick.

It's a treat to give our kids as a safe guard when strangers looking for candy come knocking at our door.