Otago Neighbourhood Support Expo 2009
Jude Law address all attendees on Friday evening.
Otago Neighbourhood Support members enjoyed a relaxing evening At Arai Te Uru Marae on Friday 27th February. The evening commenced at 6pm with a Powhiri to welcome members onto the Marae. Noi Hudson (Chair Arai Te Uru) performed the Kai Karanga and Police Iwi Liaison Officer Toni Pelasio led Neighbourhood Support members, Area Commander Dave Campbell and the Community Police Constables with Vicky Totoro responding to the Kai Karanga. Area Commander Dave Campbell presented the Koha. Barney Taiapa (Kaumatua) also entertained us with some history of the Marae and some interesting stories presenting with such a wonderful sense of humour.
The evening then continued with a light buffet meal served by volunteers from Sir George Seymour College.
Our Guest Speaker Jude Simpson the Family Violence Awareness Advocate from Auckland Presbyterian Support gave a very poignant and emotive presentation based on her own experiences of emotional and physical abuse throughout her life. This invoked some excellent discussions from the floor and raised the awareness that reporting Family Violence is indeed everyone’s responsibility.
In addition we heard from some other important messages about neighbourly responsibility from the following guest speakers:
The evening closed at 9.45 and the audience was piped out of the hall with Pipe Major Bill Swift.
The Public Expo kicked off at 10.30am the following morning with Jude Simpson presenting for the gathering community.
The Fire Service demonstrated Kitchen fires with their model kitchen and performed an extrication of the Neighbourhood Support Regional Coordinator Sarah Hexamer out of a mock car crash with Ambulance Officer Daniel Rooney and Advanced Paramedic Pat Bain stabilising her as a ‘patient’ and removing her safely from the car once the fire service had managed to cut her out! St John Ambulance brought their latest fleet vehicle for all to admire and Ambulance Officer Daniel Rooney gave an engaging talk about the equipment and the correct way to call in an emergency highlighting the importance of knowing where you are and providing accurate information.
The Armed Offender Squad turned up in uniform with their command vehicle and Dogs, one of which was a puppy and real crowd pleaser!
Civil Defence had their mobile command centre and did an excellent talk about how this is deployed and utilised in such events. It was quite amazing how much equipment there is and how self sufficient it is.
Red Cross provided First Aid cover and the Emergency Response Unit attended and executed a mock search and rescue operation which was enlightening to many of us, not realising how quickly but accurately an area can be covered and with such accuracy in the recovery of missing persons after an incident by such team work.
Inside the hall stands from Citizens Advise Bureau, Disability Awareness, Supergrans, St John Life Link, ACC, Neighbourhood Support, DCC Customer Services Agency, Youth Link and Community Patrols all provided information and advice.
The Lions Club excellent catering caravan cooked up the sausage sizzle provided free of charge to all attending the Expo. This was funded by Neighbourhood Support.
Regional Coordinator Sarah Hexamer who organised the two events said ‘While public attendance was not as large as hoped, it was a success in so many aspects as it gave many of our key organisations an opportunity to network with each other and establish excellent links for future working practices. Something we don’t always get the time to do in our busy day to day roles’ “It was really great to see the interaction!’
While about 400 sausages were cooked and eaten by attendees there were several hundred left and these were donated to the food bank and the extra loaves of bread were given to Dunedin Hospice.
Regional Coordinator and the Event Organiser Sarah Hexamer also stated ‘I would like to thank on behalf of Otago Neighbourhood Support Charitable Trust all of the organisations who participated in both events and in particular ACC and DCC providing the majority of the funding to allow these events to have taken place.’
Other thanks go to the following organisations for donations or contribution to products or resources. With this level of support it allowed us to give something free to the people of Dunedin.