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Feed the Kids Bill Aims for Government-Funded Food-in-Schools Programme

The following is a press release from Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau

Wednesday 12 March 2014

“Kids have a knack of saying things plain and simple” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, following the lunch he hosted at Parliament today for 50 students from Naenae College who help run the school’s KickStart breakfast club.

“When asked why they support MANA’s Feed the Kids Bill they said they hate seeing kids having to scab food off other kids, and they’re embarrassed to have to hide their own lunches from their class mates.”

“And then they asked “Why can’t John Key make a smart decision and just Feed the Kids?”

“I was glad I was able to personally acknowledge the Naenae College seniors for fronting their breakfast club” said Harawira, “but the school’s guidance counsellor tells me it’s a real struggle organising volunteers, raising funds, and getting businesses to sponsor the extra kai.”

In question time today, which the College students observed, Mr Harawira pointed out that the government-assisted KickStart and KidsCan programmes feed about 20,000 students a day “which means that 80,000 are still going hungry … every day.”

“Even the kids are telling us that more needs to be done” said Harawira, “but government just point-blank refuses to step in.”

“In fact, Bill English thinks that hungry kids can learn just fine!”

“Honestly, it’s bloody frustrating when those who lead the country can be so dumb.”

MANA’s Feed the Kids Bill, which aims to introduce government-funded breakfast and lunch programmes for all students in decile 1-2 schools, is expected to be up for first reading in the coming months.

For further information from MANA, please contact Jevan Goulter, (022) 088-5646.

Press Release: Details Confirmed for Mike King’s Community Korero and Kaitaia College Seminars

Press Release: Engage Aotearoa & Key to Life Charitable Trust

For Immediate Release | 20 Feb 2013

Mike King Visits Kaitaia to Throw Solutions at Suicide 

Popular comedian and radio talk-show host Mike King will visit Kaitaia on the 5th and 6th of March for a series of seminars to reduce suicide in the Far North. On the evening of the 5th, King will lead a Community Korero at Te Ahu, accompanied by musician Ruia Aperahama (What’s the Time Mr Wolf, Southside of Bombay, Songs from the Inside). The following day, King and Aperahama will present two seminars for junior and senior students at Kaitaia College, called It’s Cool to Korero.

In It’s Cool to Korero, King will talk with Kaitaia College students about how he survived growing up. Mike’s is the story of a kid who wanted to fit in. It is about wanting to be part of the cool group but being 4’11 with buck teeth and big ears and needing a miracle to make it happen. Then one day he discovered he had a gift to make people laugh and he went from being bullied, to being liked and then many years later becoming a bully himself. Mike will share tips on how to deal with bullies and also why bullies do what they do. Most of all, he will speak about why it is important to talk rather than “have conversations with yourself.”  King says his main point is that “in life there will always be hurdles and heartbreak, but with perseverance, support and an attitude of hope, great things will happen.”

Mike King’s Community Korero will take place at Te Ahu from 6 – 8 pm on Tuesday the 5th of March. Entry is free and all are welcome. At the Community Korero, King will speak about his battle with depression, addiction and his ongoing journey back to recovery, including the mistakes he made along the way and the things that made a difference. He will discuss the things he learnt from the hard times and how all those mistakes were blessings in disguise. Both talks will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions and share strategies. This is a not-to-be-missed chance for the community to come together and explore how to support our rangatahi and each other to survive and thrive. Stacks of useful free resources will be available for community members to take away for later use. King says, “It is time to stop throwing negatives at the problem of suicide and time to start throwing positives at a solution!”

This initiative was organised by ex-Kaitaia College student, Miriam Larsen-Barr, who operates a mental-health promotion project called Engage Aotearoa and is currently completing a doctorate in clinical psychology in Auckland. Visiting home for the summer, Larsen-Barr was struck by how many sad stories and suicides had happened in the community in the past year.  Larsen-Barr says “I do all this work in other places to promote helpful ways of thinking about mental-health problems and make it easier to approach recovery. It seemed wrong to come home to holiday and not share those resources with the town that grew me.

Mike King is best known for his role as a comedian and host of the Radio Live talk-show The Nutters Club. But King is also involved in The Key to Life Charitable Trust, an organisation that aims to achieve a zero suicide-rate in New Zealand.  King and Larsen-Barr met through their shared passion for preventing suicide (both have been working on projects to tell people’s recovery stories) and when King received the call to make a difference in Kaitaia, he leapt at the chance. King and Aperahama are both donating their time to the cause, The Mental-Health Foundation of NZ is providing additional take-home resources and local organisations Te Runanga o Te Rarawa and The Beachcomber Restaurant have sponsored the initiative to ensure it goes ahead.

More information can be found on Engage Aotearoa’s Mental-Health News and Events Blog at http://www.engagenz.co.nz/?p=3989

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Another Chance to See Mental Notes…

Acclaimed Kiwi mental health documentary returns to cinema screens

15 June 2012

Documentary Mental Notes is now returning for limited seasons at select cinemas aroundNew Zealand, after earning critical acclaim and large, enthusiastic audiences earlier this year as part of the World Cinema Showcase.

“I was really gratified with the response the film got during its handful festival screenings,” says Mental Notes’ director Jim Marbrook, who spent three years making the film. “Now I’m really looking forward to sharing the film with more New Zealanders around the country.”

The film’s audience appeal has been reflected in the enthusiastic notices it’s receivedfrom both reviewers and members of New Zealand’s mental health community.

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand chief executive Judi Clements endorses Mental Notes as a reminder “of an era that to a large extent has passed but should not be forgotten” and an illustration of how “practices that may be appropriate, or even seen as good practice, in professional terms in one era may be regarded as totally unacceptable, or even brutal, in the next”.

“Not only does Mental Notes shine a light on an important part of our national history,” agrees Miriam Larsen-Barr, a mental health promoter from Mind and Body Consultants,  “it also shines a light on our infinite capacity as human beings to endure extraordinary circumstances and go on to thrive in life.”

Toi Ora Live Art Trust manager Erwin van Asbeck describes the film as “both an intensely personal and humanely inspirational documentary”.

Taimi Allan, reTHiNK producer/director, says Mental Notes “dissolves the gap between the ‘normal’ people and those committed to an asylum … This film is a must-see for anyone who still believes people with an experience of mental illness should be locked away ‘for their own good’.”

Meanwhile, Dominion Post and Radio New Zealand, National film reviewer Graeme Tuckett recommends Mental Notes as “a stunning film: moving, funny, and – even though I hate this word – important. Go and see it.”

In the NZ Herald, Peter Calder has praised the film for its “measured, unsensationalist tone and its focus on the survivors rather than the historical horrors”, noting that “it’s not simply a catalogue of victimhood; its subjects’ stories are full of humour and hope”; while according to Onfilm’s Helen Martin, “This is a film that will resonate with so many New Zealanders.”

“It was very important to me that the film was embraced by those working in the mental health community and people whose lives have been touched by mental illness,” says Marbrook. “Ultimately, though, the goal was to make a film that didn’t just appeal to a specialised audience, so it’s fantastic Mental Notes has provento have universal appeal.

ENDS

Confirmed cinema dates for Mental Notes (more to follow soon)

  • 21 June onwards – theParamount,Wellington
  • 23 June onwards – the Academy, Auckland
  • 21-22 & 25-26 June – the Metro, Dunedin
  • 1 & 5 July – the Dome, Gisborne
  • 5 July onwards – the Hollywood, Christchurch.

Mental Notes notes

  • Mental Notes was made with the financial support of the Frozen Funds Trust, a feature film finishing grant from the New Zealand Film Commission, and a reTHiNK Grant from Mind and Body Consultants.

A violent-free Christmas is the best gift

A Message from the NZ Police Force.

Christmas is anything but festive for some families as the stresses of the   season, combined in many cases with alcohol, take their toll.

Traditionally the police see an increase in the number of calls to family   violence incidents throughout December and January so Central District Police   are appealing to all families to plan, stay calm and take care of one   another.

Family Violence Coordinator for Central District Police, Maree Rooney-Duindam said: “For many, Christmas is a time of fear and apprehension. There can be a   real strain on relationships as families try to manage the expectations of   the holidays; the food the presents, the bills.

“The material things shouldn’t matter, what matters is the opportunity to spend quality time together, have fun, celebrate and share in the spirit of   the occasion. The best present many women, men and children could ask for is   a violent-free Christmas.”

Nationally, the police respond to a family violence incident every 6 minutes. On average, 14 women, 6 men and 10 children are killed by a member of their   family every year. About half of all murders in New Zealand are family   violence related.

Police in Central District attend on average 722 calls to attend reports of family violence per month; approximately 24 incidents per day.

Anyone finding themselves in a family violence situation where they feel threatened for their immediate safety or a member of the public is aware of a  family violence situation unfolding, they should ring police immediately.

There are also a wide range of other support services available through the national campaign’s helpline – “It is OK to Ask for Help” on 0800 456 450. An alternative is calling your local Women’s Refuge on 0800 733 843.

  • Planning is the key, especially when there are different family groups involved or where parents of children are separated and there are access issues. Agree social and family arrangements in advance and stick to the agreed plans. Make sure children get to spend quality time with both parents if there is shared custody.
  • Don’t spend what you can’t afford. Work out what you need to buy for Christmas and what bills you need to cover and set that money aside.
  • If you are finding the whole idea of Christmas too stressful talk to a friend or someone else that you can trust.
  • Think of the children. Don’t let them grow up with memories of Christmas tarnished with violence.
  • Go easy on the alcohol. If you are drinking make sure you have equal amounts of water or non-alcoholic drinks.
  • If an argument starts to brew, take a deep breath and walk away. Time out to let everyone calm down and if necessary sober up.
  • If you have real concerns for your safety or the safety of your children contact the police.

Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Kim Perks on 027  234 8256. Please view the full news release online at: http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/30240.html