We really don’t know how lucky we are

We don’t know how lucky we are. Well, I didn’t anyway. Oh, I thought I did. But there is nothing like a month in a developing nation to challenge that notion.

I’ve been in the Solomon Islands since September 11, my very own 9/11 reality check.

I’m volunteering with NZ’s VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad), working in a small media company in Honiara.

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Forum editor volunteers abroad

Tamahere Forum editor Philippa Stevenson heads to the Solomon Islands early next month to put her journalism skills to use as a Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) volunteer.

Stevenson, who founded and has run Tamahere Forum for 10 years, will spend six months in the Solomons’ capital Honiara as a newsroom and editorial adviser for a small, independent newspaper publisher.

The former NZ Herald and Waikato Times journalist said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to volunteer with VSA.

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Candidates on screen

Where do the Waikato’s four election candidates stand on health and the people of the region, and how knowledgeable are they of the electorate’s history?

NZ Herald Local Focus canvassed the candidates’ views on that and more when it interviewed them recently.

The video interviews of the candidates, including Tamahere locals Philippa Stevenson (Green Party) and Tim van de Molen (National Party), are now online.

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Meet the candidates

Four candidates are standing for election in the Waikato electorate that encompasses Tamahere and Matangi, two of them locals.

Journalist Philippa Stevenson, editor of Tamahere Forum, is standing for the Green Party and former farmer and rural banker Tim van de Molen is the National Party candidate.

They are joined by Morrinsville farmer Stu Husband for NZ First and South Auckland lawyer Brooke Loader for Labour.

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Climate change action in Tamahere

Waikato law student Sarah Thomson, who courageously sued the New Zealand government over its climate change targets, will report on the case in Tamahere.

Thomson, along with long time climate action campaigner Jeanette Fitzsimons, will tackle the world’s hottest topic this Sunday, 2pm, in the St Stephen’s Tamahere hall.

Thomson’s case against the New Zealand government, the first of its kind in New Zealand, was heard in June in the Wellington High Court. The judge’s decision has been reserved.

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Talk sparks action on ethical funds

A few bankers, KiwiSaver providers and investment advisers could expect ‘please explain’ phone calls Monday morning in the wake of today’s ethical investment discussion in Tamahere.

Specialist ethical investment adviser Janet Natta, of Tamahere, surprised many in the audience with the revelation that their savings or investments were unlikely to be in ethical funds.

It is a common misconception that investment funds are covered by regulations that rule out “sin stocks” such as tobacco, armaments and gambling, Natta told the Green Party-hosted event in the St Stephen’s Tamahere hall.

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Right to home abandoned: author

Author and social commentator Gordon McLauchlan brought his acute wit and humour to Tamahere today, enthralling his audience with a life’s worth of observations.

Over his lifetime, he’d seen some dramatic and desirable advances in human rights from campaigns against homophobia, racism and patronising anti-feminism, he told an audience of around 45 in the St Stephen’s Tamahere hall.

“But in that same time I’ve also seen the abandonment of the human right for people to have a decent home and an adequate income,” McLauchlan said.

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Author Gordon McLauchlan speaking in Tamahere

Gordon McLauchlan, author and social commentator, will inform and entertain with insights on New Zealanders (the Passionless People of his famous book title) in Tamahere on Sunday, July 2.

Best known as a cultural critic and a social historian, the popular and prolific writer’s latest book is Great Tales from Rural New Zealand.

He has written a number of best-sellers including The Passionless People, a social commentary on New Zealanders (1976), and The Farming of New Zealand, a history of NZ agriculture (1981).

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Support for Tamahere ANZAC Day

A proposal to commemorate Anzac Day locally, in Tamahere, in years to come is gaining support.

The Tamahere Lions Club and Tamahere councillor Aksel Bech are two who have backed the idea after it was raised here last week.

The proponents of the idea, St Stephen’s Tamahere Vicar Ellen Bernstein and Waikato Green Party candidate and Tamahere resident Philippa Stevenson, are delighted.

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