Street begging and rough sleeping lower the tone of a community and often make people feel threatened and uneasy.
It's not a good look for tourism either, especially when some beggars can be quite persistent or aggressive.
It is not a serious problem in Whanganui just yet, but we are starting to see more begging than we have ever seen in the past, and perhaps it is time our council pre-empted the issue before it gets worse by putting in place a bylaw that allows the authorities to move these people along and establish a procedure to try to help them in whatever way possible.
Some might argue that a bylaw is potentially breaching a person's Bill of Rights freedoms and may not be the best way to tackle these issues, but without a bylaw very little seems to be done to set in motion the help that is needed.
Some councils have introduced bylaws and others say they are not appropriate, but to date this is an issue that our council has not given much thought to, and I believe they should.
Choice at end of life
I read a letter saying shame on the Government for passing the life-threatening euthanasia bill in the NZ Herald online today.
I have seen a parent suffering very badly with cancer.
We had to watch our dad suffering for many months, no hope for any cure or survival, loaded up on morphine. Watched him go to skin and bone. Half the time the medication didn't work and he wasn't the same dad we knew; he just lay there day by day, suffering until the end.
He used to say, "Put me in the bush and leave me if I get real sick".
It would have been kinder for him if he didn't have to suffer so long with us watching him every day — to just quietly slip away, no longer suffering.
There should be a choice for people, kinder to end it before it becomes out of control and the pain too much. If we do this to our animals, leave them suffering for months on end, it would be an entirely different story and we would be labelled very cruel and probably fined.
I hope it passes. I realise that not everyone thinks it's a good idea, but we need to have a choice especially in this day and age.
I would hope if I am suffering, lose my dignity and existing on morphine and every drug out there with no hope, I could have the choice to end it all peacefully with no further suffering.
When all else fails, turn to the "community". It is good Whanganui District Health Board CEO Russell Simpson has conceded their writing of the strategies has failed.
With our district suicide statistics 70 per cent higher than the national average (Chronicle, July 3) for the 2017/18 year, must we also take over the role of watchdog on suicide and mental health programmes? We do it, of course, "for love" as I await the minister's reply on accountability by those DHBs who used mental health funding for "operations".
Of further concern was the 50,000 calls to police over suicide and mental health emergencies. What training qualifications are they given, and also who financially resources them while the mental health crisis teams are missing? Are there beds?
I am cognisant of non-government organisations (NGOs) being drafted in after the wheels have fallen off in the health sector.
I am confident many of our teen fatalities have been exacerbated by the prevalence of social media saturation and inadequate counselling.
Regrettably, we appear to now have to accept the role of oversight by default. Ponder this at the forthcoming elections and rank accordingly. Failed!
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