Log In

Reset Password

Keep children safe from our selfish activities

Opinion Piece

Last Sunday we had our Children’s Day at The Kaiti Mall. It was lovely. Children and parents enjoyed a day of fun, games and learning activities in an atmosphere of peace and safety.

Kaiti School pupils stood proudly in their school uniforms and told us of their wish for a place they frequented daily to be smoke-free. They proudly gave their whakapapa and what it meant to them and their families to be free of the harm of second-hand smoke day after day. They reminded us that we adults have a huge responsibility to help them achieve this, so they can reach their God-given potential.

It took courage to stand there at their young age and tell us this. If they can do it, so can we adults. We must stand up too with Ka Pai Kaiti and say no more to the negative influences of gambling and alcohol in a place surrounded by children of all ages.

Dr Pat Ngata reminded us, at every opportunity he could, that any activity carried out day-by-day normalised that behaviour, and each generation grew up believing that was how life was.

Our mall was once a busy place where children were safe from the influences of our selfish activities. Why are we accepting this as normal now? Why should our children be subjected to this? What makes our place the right place for activities that bring nothing but despair for many?

Each year, $10 million is lost in the bowels of the region’s pokie machines. Eliminating that could give us back our beautiful mall — bright and safe, with businesses flourishing and proud.

Alcohol could make someone feel great, but is this the message we want our children to take on board daily as they witness the bottles and cans going out the door in the mall?

Many say we have a choice to live how we want, and it’s nobody’s business but ours. What I’m saying is, what choice are we giving our young ones? It’s time now to give our children their future, an exciting one, free from our hang-ups and addictions.

Nona Aston