Ka hao te Rakatahi


Ka hao te Rakatahi
Wai ora – we need to do better!

Nā Nuku Tau In light of the 20th anniversary of the Settlement of the Ngāi Tahu claim, I thought it relevant to write on another issue Ngāi Tahu faces in terms of rights and property – water. Water is the most precious resource on Earth, and I think everyone can agree we don’t value it…

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HPV – playing it safe

So what is HPV, and what is the vaccine? To paraphrase The Guardian, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is sexually transmitted, and almost all sexually active adults carry some of the 170 different strains. Subtypes 6 and 11 can lead to genital warts, while 16 and 18 can lead to numerous forms of cancer, chiefly cervical cancer. In fact, over 90% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV and according to the World Health Organisation, in 2012 alone, 270,000 women died from it.

Gardasil is 99% effective against the four worst strains of HPV. The pharmaceutical company Merck began clinical development of the vaccine in 1997, and the vaccine passed all three phases of testing before being released to the public. In fact, our Government fast-tracked its release, believing it would be unethical to withhold it.

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Youth custody Index

A few people have been asking me questions because of my last column. Chiefly, what is the “Youth Custody Index” (YCI), and what is it all about?
The YCI is a St Thomas of Canterbury College project run by a group of senior students and is a collation of information regarding the state of youth in custody in New Zealand – both good and bad. The point of the index is to spark debate and raise awareness of any discrepancies and issues.

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Youth custody in New Zealand

It became obvious to me that we need to have a hard look at the way we deal with prisoners, youth, and our justice system in general. Before I get into what I mean let me say this: there are many initiatives in place in New Zealand prisons like opportunities to obtain trade skills and NCEA qualifications. The staff are incredible people with genuine care for the boys, and this is in no way a criticism of them or the work they do. It is more my opinion on our society and the current way we do things.

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Dare to be different

In an ever-growing and competitive world, it’s important to stand out and make your own mark. To be true to yourself in the best way you know how, so that you may lead and make positive change. Sometimes we need a reminder of how important it is to be yourself, stand up, and stand out. I want to talk about three men who did just that, and changed their communities and worlds.

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Trumped?

I’m worried about where America is heading. I thought the baby boomers were meant to bequeath to the next generation a world better than the one they were handed.

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Before I begin, I’ll admit that while I’m not 100 per cent either way, I do lean toward a flag change. Simply put, I believe the current flag is anachronistic, has little representation of any of New Zealand’s other races (mainly Māori), is far too similar to Australia’s, and is not the most attractive or stirring flag. I can also certainly see why many want to keep it.

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