On violent crime: A Tragic Week in Auckland City.

 

When will it stop? Week after week of news filled with reports of innocent New Zealanders dying violent deaths. In the last four months alone the deaths of Navtej Singh, Joanne Wang, and 80 year old Yan Ping Yan have outraged us. And that’s just in Manukau City.

Two days ago, Mr. Austin Hemmings heroically went to the aid of a woman being viciously attacked on the streets of inner city Auckland in broad daylight.

Only the day before, 70 year old Mr. Taufui Paea had been officially recognised at government house for running to the defence of a neighbour who was being attacked by the father of her children.

Mr Paea, who was 64 years old at the time) sustained deep cuts to the face and was lucky to escape with his life. The woman, whom he tried heroically to protect, was not so fortunate. Neither was Mr. Hemmings.

A little over a week before, 800 people gathered in Auckland’s holy Trinity Cathedral to farewell Sergeant Don Wilkinson who was shot in the back while on duty. A police officer.

The murderers have the right to a fair trial and the state will provide them with legal aid. But who will come to the aid of Mr. Hemmings family? Who will come to the aid of Mr. Wilkinson’s family? Who will come to the aid to the hundreds of other nameless victims of violent crime in this country? Who will pay for their funerals?

Those people who selflessly run to the aid of others are called “heroes” by our government, and rightly so. But does our government treat these people with the respect that heroes deserve? It is high time for New Zealanders to decide what they prefer – dead heroes or safer streets. It is time for New Zealanders to act.