Northern News : January 7th 2015
YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Wednesday, January 7, 2015 Kids’ posters hit home By SARAH HARRIS IT TAKES thinking outside the square to beat domestic violence. That’s what Rawene’s Senior Constable Jeffrey Cramp has done, after coming up with the idea to get children to make posters about their families and put them up in well-known drinking spots. ‘‘Most of the [police] callouts are alcohol-related,’’ he says. ‘‘Alcohol can bring the worst out of people and it’s too easily accessible. ‘‘The benefit I get out of the poster project is hopefully not going to so many domestics over summer.’’ Domestic violence is Cramp’s number one issue in the South Hokianga and one that escalates over summer. He approached Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Tonga O Hokianga with the project in November. Heartfelt posters contain- ing messages about drinking, violence and what it means to have a loving family were made by 24 students. Most were in te reo as well as English. ‘‘This gets families talking about it [domestic violence], young people can express the good parts of their family and have that impact on those who go to the hotel,’’ Cramp says. ‘‘To potential offenders Big hug: Stacey Tupe hugs daughter Crete Riiwhii-Tupe and classmate Isaiah Wallace who hold their prizewinning posters. hopefully, it’ll say ‘maybe I shouldn’t be so nasty to my family when I go home’. ‘‘The main message is they want their parents and their fathers to participate in their games and activities. ‘‘They want that family unit, that family time. ‘‘It’s pretty clear they all know that alcohol abuse causes family disharmony and it all comes out quite loud and clear.’’ The posters will be in the Rawene Masonic and Opononi hotels and maybe the Omapere Copthorne and No. 1 Gallery this month. Cramp has chosen first, second and third place winners, giving $150 of prize money from his own pocket. Crete Riiwhii-Tupe, 13, came third, and says she knew about domestic violence before doing the posters and had heard about some kids experiencing it. ‘‘Family is about having fun every day and feeling comfortable being yourself,’’ Crete says. ‘‘Mum’s always there for me when I need her, she looks after me, feeds me. Dad takes me fishing and he’s funny.’’ Cramp is called out to multiple domestic violence situations every week. Recently he arrested a man who punched his daughter, 15, and split her lips. ‘‘He’s been beating his wife Happy chappy: Amorangi Ngakuru withmumEmere Robson won first place for his poster and says if you’re not happy with your family then no-one will be happy with you. He’s going to spend his $75 prize money on Christmas presents for his family. up for years and now he’s turning to his kids. ‘‘Sometimes the male has come home absolutely drunk. ‘‘The whole house has been turned upside down, you see a fridge on the floor, stove on the floor everything’s been taken out. You’re trying to find the kids in the house and they’ve barricaded themselves in a room. ‘‘It’s shocking – 11 and 12-year-olds know what family violence is all about. It shows what they see and what they hear.’’ Cramp says 90 per cent of the time he goes to a callout he’s been there before. Sometimes one address can have a history of 50 or 60 previous callouts. There is a possibility to change violent behaviour within families but it takes a lot of work, Cramp says. ‘‘You do see hope for rehabilitation but it’s a hard road for those families.’’ Watch weather, speed and do take a break Police are urging motorists to take care over the holiday period. Northland road policing manager Inspector Murray Hodson says there were 203 reported vehicle crashes in Northland in December and 21 crashes in the first four days of January. Of those several were serious, including one on Puketona Rd heading towards Haruru Falls, where a car went off the road and rolled several times down a bank. In a separate incident, a woman was killed when two cars collided on State Highway 1 in Moerewa on December 11. And four people – two men and two children – were killed on December 23 when their car collided with a logging truck in Waipu, just south of Whangarei. Police have launched their Reach The Beach Safely This Summer campaign and are urging people to watch their speed. Hodson says it is impera- tive that motorists drive to the conditions. ‘‘The speed limit is not the target and if you exceed the speed limit you can expect to be stopped,’’ Hodson says. The greater the speed the greater the chances people will be seriously injured or killed. ‘‘Northland police will be highly visible on the roads targeting those who exceed the speed limit and enforcing the lower alcohol limits. ‘‘So far this year  we’ve had 19 deaths on Northland’s roads. At the same time last year there were 21 deaths. I don’t want to see any more people die on the road because they’ve WHERE INSPIRATION STARTS… driven too fast,’’ he says. Drivers are also encour- aged to have a break of 20 minutes or more after two hours of continuous driving as fatigue can be an issue. Nationwide, 17 people died on New Zealand roads during the official holiday period which started from 4pm on Christmas eve and finished on Monday. Hodson says the campaign is about people look- From fantasy to functional, we can help design and project manage the installation of your perfect bathroom. See out our amazing range of products instore at 26 Mill Lane, Kerikeri Book your FREE CONSULTATION with our bathroom specialist today on 09 407 0251 ing after each other on the roads. ‘‘As drivers we cannot afford to ignore our responsibilities to others we share the road with. Police are inviting all New Zealanders to join the initiative by using the social media hashtag #ReachTheBeach.’’ The campaign runs till the end of January. People can use *555 to report bad driving.
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