Anthony McClean, Portia McPhail, Anthony Mulder, Tara Gregory, Huan (Tom) Hsu, Natasha Bray, and Floyd Fernandes drowned in the Mangatepopo Gorge. (Stuff)
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the river tragedy that took the lives of 6 Elim Christian School students and their teacher Anthony McClean.
Such a terrible event, Yet from the first time I herd the story of Anthony’s heroic exploit I have been overwhelmed and affected by a sense of awe at his humanity and sense of Christian duty that he demonstrated on this fateful day, and though 6 others lost their lives this blogpost is my personal tribute to him in particular… as an exemplar of character and the sort of loving soul that every parent desires in a tutor of their children.
When the River surged trapping the group in a dire situation, Anthony was faced with a Great moral Dilemma… abandon his pupils and Save himself… or… strive to save a physically disabled student cerebral palsy sufferer Tom Hsu, 16, by tying him to his own back and to risk his own life for their sake.
Visualizing this in my mind, I am transported in time and space to witnessing this act of heroism first hand…and I am overcome.
His heroism cost him his life… they died together… yet ten years later the example he set still moves and inspires me and thousands of other New Zealanders.
It ranks in the highest order of Noble deeds… Christ-like… who said “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends…” John15vs13.
His action is the equal of any Teacher who has in such moments of fate… given their lives for their students, and I am reminded of such stories we often read about when there is a US school massacre… the teachers who put themselves between the killers and their Pupils… May God Bless and Keep them all.
This is the spirit of Altruism… the voluntary self sacrifice of personal benefits… out of love…for the sake of others.
True Heroism is not about personal glory, and is impossible for the person who puts their own life as the highest value.
This is taking the Vocation of teaching to its Highest end… placing the life of your students ahead of your own.
Teachers like Anthony McClean demonstrate the *Real virtue* of the vocation… Teaching was never about High wages and Fame… and all about being able to fulfill your personal desire to serve others… The opportunity and privilege to instill wisdom and values in the youth under your care… to empower them to take care of themselves, raise happy and healthy families, and to live great and fulfilling lives.
And the best teachers teach the most important lessons of character… by example… living (and dying) by the values they expound.
Teachers who dont have this quality may be technically smart… yet can never be *Great*… and when any troubles arise… even minor troubles… they will put their own interests ahead of your children.
What parent can have confidence in a Selfish teacher to look after their child, and instill values?
Anthony Mulder was one of the Students who lost his life that day… yet not before performing selfless deeds of heroism!
He positioned himself in the torrent and helped his fellow students to get across.
” Kish Proctor and Sarah Brooks, two of the survivors from the canyoning group, said Ant was an inspiration for his selfless, loving nature and steadfast belief in God.
Fellow Elim youth leader and Pakuranga College student Jessica Hancock described him as a “humble, patient, peaceful, generous and loving guy who has changed so many lives”.
Speaking after the memorial service, Ant’s friends said healing moments had been time spent in his bedroom and talking about the good times they shared with him.
Kish said Ant was voted group leader while at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoors Pursuits Centre because he was a seasoned tramper and led by example.
“He stood in the middle of the current and helped all of us across it,” he said.”
Let us Remember this Tragic Day… esp the Deeds of these Two Heroes.
Lets us take inspiration from their selfless actions in the Darkest of hours and endeavour to emulate them in our own lives.
And as Christians… we live in the hope of the Gospel.
I just dropped in to proffer an explanation of my absence from this blog for the past 18 months or so.
In a word, depression. I have been beset with mental health problems my entire adult life. I have at least four diagnosed DSM-5 disorders. Of these, depression is the worst. It is, quite literally, a life-threatening illness. Fortunately, amongst other things, my life is not mine to take. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Things took a turn for the worse about 18 months ago. Amongst other things, the full implications of having recently been belatedly diagnosed with adult ADHD were sinking in, winter was coming, and my usual coping strategies of injudicious drug use and abnegation of personal responsibility were failing me. But what really got me in a tailspin was when the state started bankruptcy proceedings against me, for alleged failure to pay taxes. I saw my GP about my predicament and he had no hesitation in giving me a medical certificate for WINZ. The upshot is that, since last autumn, I’ve been on the sickness benefit. Yes, that’s right. I’m a ward of the welfare state. So you can see what condition my condition is in.
But that’s enough about me, I don’t want to make this post all about my personal woes. In time-honoured fashion, I want to make it about this country’s political woes. This post will be about the government’s role in providing mental health services and, in particular, it’s role in NZ’s high rates of depression and suicide.
Straightaway, let’s get one thing straight. The government doesn’t actually care. The present National government doesn’t even want to know. Why else would it re-brand what was formerly the sickness benefit as “job seeker support”? A sickness beneficiary already has a job, and they know it! Their job is to get well. Well enough to seek, find, and then hold down a permanent paid position. All of which is easier said than done for the chronically mentally ill. Some of whom should, and do, end up on the invalid’s benefit.
The government doesn’t actually care. Certainly, the neoliberal government we’ve had in this country since 1984 doesn’t give a damn. To begin with, take the fact that the suicide rate for New Zealand males aged 15-19 doubled in the course of three years from 16 per 100,000 in 1985 to 32 per 100,000 in 1988. While trustworthy statistics aren’t easy to find, it would appear that this alarming increase in NZ’s youth suicide rate has held up. I see no reason to dispute the claim that NZ now has the highest rate of teen suicide in the developed world.
Former Children’s Commissioner Ian Hassall makes a couple of especially pertinent points (notwithstanding his dubious analogy to climate change).
The critical fact is that New Zealand has the highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD. This excess of young people’s deaths in New Zealand when compared with other OECD countries must be a result of local factors.
The statistics show that whatever these factors were, they began to operate from 1985 to 1988. That was a time of social turmoil in New Zealand. The economic restructuring that was sweeping the world was imposed faster and deeper in New Zealand than elsewhere.
“No pain, no gain” was the catchphrase of Rogernomics. What it meant was that it was expected that the structural changes would be painful but they would be worth it in creating a more robust economy.
For young people, the changes were rapid and painful indeed. Suddenly, finding a job was not guaranteed and bright future prospects dimmed for many. A reduced welfare safety net meant that many were not sufficiently helped and inequality widened.
I don’t think that we can say for sure what aspect of neoliberalism is to blame, or even that we can definitively blame neoliberalism in the first place for the sustained rise in youth suicides. But it’s certainly a prime suspect.
As ever: what is to be done?
Officially New Zealand has focussed on mental health and mental health services as a means of dealing with the problem. Mental ill-health and lack of mental health services cannot explain the sudden doubling of youth suicide from 1985 to 1988.
Not surprisingly, then, this approach has failed. Mental ill-health undoubtedly has a part to play in many youth suicides, but there is no reason that this should be more of a problem in New Zealand than in other countries.
It is comforting to believe that young people will be safer if our mental health services are improved but it is largely a false hope. Saying so will, no doubt make me unpopular, but so be it.
So be it, and I agree.
Sadly, throwing more money at the problem isn’t going to help much, if at all. In fact, I submit that a big part of NZ’s current mental health crisis is down to excessive reliance on the state to fix the problem. A bigger part is due to state intervention in the first place. It is completely wrong, for example, that the state treats the simple administration of a proven cure for depression as a greater crime than rape or armed robbery, and instead busies itself funding a lolly scramble of often worse than useless placebos.
Whereas I don’t think more government money is going to fix the problem, I do think it’s downright criminal to cut funding to mental health services in a time of mental health crisis. And that’s what this National government has done. My point is that where the state has taken on responsibility for the provision of mental health services, it must honour that commitment in the meantime. Until such time as we can successfully devolve this responsibility to families, friends and support at the local community level. Faceless bureaucracy never made anyone happy.
At a time like this, it is utterly appalling that the government saw fit to cut funding to Lifeline, one of NZs biggest and long-established suicide counselling lines. And instead, allocate that funding to a “new, preferred supplier” called LaVey. All very well, perhaps, except for the six-month hiatus between Lifeline’s funding being cut and the new provider stepping in. Oh, and the fact that Bill English’s wife is on the board of LaVey! Nepotism doesn’t get much uglier. (LeVa, LaVey. Whatever.)
Wait just a moment! Take another look at take the load off. What on earth is that woman friend using to get her mate Dan out of his pit of depression? That’s right, it’s a hangman’s noose.
Sure, it’s supposed to be a lasso. But seriously, what sort of subliminal message are they sending to the suicidal? The people at the agency that created this plagiaristic monstrosity sure have a sick sense of humour. (It wouldn’t surprise me if they were the same outfit responsible for Colin Craig’s election campaign material last election.)
I’m glad that I also have a sick sense of humour and can appreciate it. I hope you do too. To all my depressed friends out there, I say, life is very much worth living, no matter if it seems like a sack of shit right now. Hang on in there!
Cop Killing Niggers…. Pictures flash through your mind…. Conjured up from your prejudices…. a Fat White Racist Cop Shooting Innocent Black Males?…. Or a Crack Head Saggy Pants Gang Banger with a piece… doin a drive by on a Police Cruiser?
Black lives Matter.
Fuck the Police.
The wheels are falling of Civil society!
No Shit Sherlock!
Us vs Them.
Who wins?…. Emergency measures… Martial Law.
Satan Laughing spreads his wings.
You have to be living under a rock… at the bottom of the ocean… in the Challenger Deep not to be aware of the Chaos and disorder happening in American society with regards to Police Thuggery and Black Outrage.
Each side of this Mayhem expects us to take their side, and if you dont… you must be a Racist, or a Cop Hater.
I sit on the fence… not because I dont have an opinion…. but because I say *Both sides* have malignant Ideas mixed with some Righteous outrage… Both have Blame…. both are responsible for the troubles… Both need to get their shit together.
I will start with my criticism of the Police… because they are supposed to walk the high road and set an example of Character and Justice, and when the Police become Brutal, Unjust, and corrupt… this is an absolute catastrophe for the society.
This being so I believe *When a Policeman is accused of committing a crime*… this must be openly and thoroughly investigated so that the people can see the process is not slopped in favor of allowing Bad police to escape justice… and when found guilty… because of the professional Responsibility they have in our society… they should face *Heavier penalties* than Civilians who commit the same offences.
They are supposed to be well Trained legal professionals… brave… and of high character… which implies that they care about the people in the communities they serve… and when they commit a Crime… they are betraying the trust that our society places on their uniform.
What is also means is that *The Legal machinery that investigates and prosecutes Bad Police* must be scrupulously independent of the police themselves… and this includes *the attitudes of the Judiciary*, must be above reproach… ie Not be seen to convict defendants simply upon the statements of Police, or excuse criminality perpetrated by the Police.
Thus Like the Police… the Legal system must be transparently Just …. anything less and the people loose faith in justice… and Chaos and dis-order ensues.
Policeman must fear the Judiciary, knowing that they themselves are not above the Law, and will held to account with the full weight of the Law should they cross the line.
*None of this is happening* So it is not surprising that with the advent of The Cellphone Video camera, countless videos are steaming on line of absolutely abominable crimes being committed by police against ordinary people… grand mothers, Young men, etc.
This behavior is nothing new, but today the police are being caught on video.
Yet still… even with video evidence and multiple witnesses most of these corrupt police escape justice…
Some places insist their officers wear body Cams… and these precincts witness a drop in complaints against police for obvious reasons… the police behave better when they are carrying a video that will be examined by their superiors.
I agree with Ex Cop David Champion that one of cost effective things that could be done to help stop Police criminality is to issue all Police on the Beat with Body Cams, and *Any violence, police shootings, etc* that officers say ‘their cameras fell off’… etc should automatically call their version of events int question, and cause high suspicion of Criminality on their part.
Police, etc, cannot be lawfully allowed to withhold footage from independent investigators, or the press, without some sort of judicial process for special cases.
When Faith in the Justness of the Law, The Police, and the Courts has been corroded… Chaos ensues… police will start getting shot more often.
When Faith in the Justness of the Law, The trustworthiness of the Police, and the Fairness and integrity of the Courts is high… the People will be happy… the people will think of the Police as they ought…their friends…. and they will trust that Bad Police will not be tolerated, but will face the consequences of their evil deeds.
*This is what is conducive to civil order*
*This is what will attract the best people of the highest character* into the Police force… as a High vocation of service to their communities…. which is what the Police force is Ideally meant to represent… instead of what it has become… A gang of Lawless thugs whom perpetrate extreme violence and thuggery with impunity.
*This is the breeding ground for a violent disrespect for society, the Law, and the police*
I must add this one particular comment on the Law itself…. *End the War on Drugs*…. This is a Law and order Disaster that fosters extreme violence by the Police … sanctioned by society… that can be reciprocated by those involved in the Drug trade.
Just as Alcohol Prohibition gave rise to Al Capone, Police Corruption, and Machine Gun Massacres… The War on drugs has repeated the grievous injustices and chaos.
Ending Prohibition ended so much unnecessary violence and chaos from both sides of the Law.
It is that only the willfully ignorant say that the police are the good guys… Countless videos on line testify to how lawless and thuggish they have become… and of course a Natural social backlash is in progress.
It is right that there is Public outrage about the un-justifiable killing and brutality of police, and The Police do need serious Cultural reforms… yet still… Outrage cannot justify the sorts of shocking behavior that is being perpetrated …Rioting, Looting, and Cop Killing.
Political Organisations like ‘Black lives Matter’ have sprung up with their own agendas… and to the degree that they seek to highlight a systemic problem within the police, they are to be commended and supported, yet sadly such organisations appear to be filled with *Racists themselves*… Blacks whom call whites ‘Crackers’… and who are taking opportunity to vent their personal prejudices and to Excuse the most lawless and despicable behavior under the guise of ‘Protesting Police brutality… Police Racism…. Etc’
They are conspicuous in their silence when Police brutalize or murder white people… obviously this does not fit well with *their Narrative that Police brutality is focused on Blacks*
These people claim to be a Civil rights movement, yet by their actions they Betray the ideals and values of the Great Black Civil rights activists of History…. Martin Luther King, Booker T Washington, Frederick Douglas… whom refused to dish up Racism for Racism… Hate for Hate…. but instead preached Unity, and Brotherhood *with White America*.
Furthermore ‘Black lives matter’, and many in the Media *Fail to identify the massive Cultural deviancy* that is behind the dire social statistics of the Black demographic…. and Falsely attribute the Lions share of the causes underpinning the squallar, unemployment,and crime which are characteristic of Black neighborhoods *on Racism*…rather than an absolute lacking of Personal ethics and good values on their own part.
It is all very well to expect the Police to walk the highest path… and set the standard for virtue…. yet when you have Black communities that are so violent and crime ridden… filled with all the absolute Mind rotting Gangsta Rapp… It is not surprising that having walked the beat for years… that many Police carry suspicion 24/7 against Swagger Cap wearing Jeromes, and have one finger on the trigger at all times.
The Police are *human*…. and they get sick and tired of the Getto Bullshit that so many Gang Bangas dish out that it is all too easy to treat *Them all* as scum…. when only perhaps 75% of the are…
These hypocrites running ‘Black lives matter’, are to a large degree *Rasists themselves*… they are willing to destroy their cities when a Policeman shoots an unarmed boy in a case of mistaken identity … yet never hit the streets to protest against the thousands of Little Homies who get shot by other little homies.
The following statement is as applicable to my own Maori Demographic here in New Zealand as it does to Black America.
*This Type of Blaming the Whites for all your Problems* instead of looking the mirror and seeing the Violent, criminal, little racists that you are* and fixing the problem *at home*… is a typical Blindness that is promoted by the Political class whom prosper from exacerbating the divisions, and falsely attributing blame to such *as race*, instead of doing what Great leaders would do…. *Calling their own people out!* *Get your shit together people!* Throw all that Gang Banger Rap Rubbish in the Bins! *Dont tolerate that shit your homes… Parents.
*Dont encourage Racism against ‘Crackers’ in your house* Start setting and example… Return to the teachings and lessons of your great Civil Rights leaders…. Condemn those Political shysters whom are promotion Race hatred and fostering endless victim-ism!
Teach your Kids to respect, and be polite to the Police…. walk the high road… and be part the movement for social change within your own communities… Raise Christian Children….
Thus it is that Both The Police and The Communities in which they serve each need to reform themselves… weed out the Devils from their midst’s and come together.
Without blaming the victims for the injustices they suffer…or condoning the vile behavior of the Police, it is not right to deny the Ideological void…the greater Societal degeneracy that is the hall mark of our ‘Post-Christian era’ and so Prevalent… so inter-generational in certain demographics.
The Issues discussed in this blog are but a few of the symptoms of the Disease and decay Western civilization is Reeling under.
Many Nations face Bankruptcy and civil unrest… and so the Status Quo/ Powers that be are also purposefully militarizing their police forces, and attempting to grant themselves greater powers, and to erode the Rights and liberties of the people… and they want a Police force that has no compunction about putting down Public protests… They want a Population that is scared to speak up or to defend their rights… These are Dangerous times…. All this social disorder works as a pretext for the Powers that be to increase their means of population control.
The Breakdown of the Family unit…. welfare-ism,…. *The systematic rise and implementation of Socialist pseudo morality and their repudiation of Christian ethics and values* that used to underpin the principles of Freedom, self reliance, Hard work and the American Dream….
Yet this is enough for One Blog post….
What a Shameful Mess Western societies have become!
Socialism and Atheism have led our nations down the Low Road… the Broad way that leadeth to destruction.
They have lost all their enlightenment values… and as Self Responsibility wains….so too does Liberty…. and tyranny is on the rise.
Narrow is the road to life….Liberty.. and prosperity… Christian Libertarian Values and ideals.
Today was a day of Bad weather and mixed emotions.
I was proud to ride with a group of conscientious Bikers who took time off work and braved the wind and rain to ride for Justice for Moko… a Beautiful three year old boy who endured horrendous treatment at the hands of Adults whom were entrusted with his care… and was robbed of his life.
Today, all through the country Kiwis gathered outside their local courthouses as this is the Day his Killers are to be sentenced for their unspeakable wickedness.
I ask myself what further proof of Humanity’s pitiful and morally lost condition, and alienation from God could possibly be demanded from unbelievers …. as evidenced by such unconscionable crimes as this…. committed against the most innocent????
Sufficient is the Evil thereof!
8:30 First meeting point. Cock and Bull Pub. Pukete.
Second meeting point. Hillcrest.
Moko was failed at all points… by everyone… except his sister who did everything she could to raise the alarm… yet nobody rescued Moko.
He has become yet another victim of New Zealand shameful record of Child abuse and murder… and worse still… his murderers were allowed to ‘plea bargain for themselves a lesser sentence of Manslaughter instead of Murder!
So The Life value of this precious child, and his suffering and murder, was mitigated… de-valued…. and semi-excused!
*And this travesty… this outrage… is one of the main reasons We Bikers decided to Ride… and join the many other New Zealanders who think that this is just not good enough!
Though The evils and responsibility of Child abuse rest with the abusers… and you cannot blame their upbringing, the government, or any other single cause… Justice and deterrence demands that the Rights of Children receive the full weight of the Law and justice system behind them, so that these Monsters think twice… before committing their crimes… and when they do… they must receive full recompense for their Abominable Crimes against the most vulnerable members of our society.
Many would prefer to see these Vile perpetrators hung from a lamp post… yet without recourse to such Medieval punishments… we should at least expect the courts to deliver a sentence of Life without parole.
As one of the Speakers at the Rally whom herself was the victim of a horrendous sexual attack… “No sentence is adequate/ enough”.
Ride Organiser: Shaun Ewok Bryan.
He did a top job of stepping up to organise this ride for Moko in the Hamilton region.
He organised the Patches.
He also spoke to a TV crew outside the Hamilton courthouse about the Bike Run.
Full credit to him!
How New Zealand society is to reduce the incidents of such absolutely shocking crimes is not easy to determine… there are so many factors involved, yet if I was to single out some points of importance for me to would be *Personal ethics* and how our society’s P.C ‘pandering to victimism’… and rejection of what we might call ‘Old school Christian values’, in favour of Liberal de-valuation of the Traditional Family values… the importance of Fathers, the normalizing of Single parent families, Having children out of wedlock… The Socialist Government encroachments, via welfareism, The evils of the lies of Maori as victims of colonisation… even heavy Taxation, and trade regulations …etc etc… all corrode the soul out of our people… create excuses… make life harder than it needs to be… and esp robs people of an inner moral compass.
Too many people today hold to a nihilistic, amoral, ‘It’s all about me’ mentality.
New Zealand needs to stop running to Nanny State and calling for more Rules and regulations, and instead seek a moral re-awakening in *personal ethics and responsibility*.
No doubt many readers will thumb their noses at this notion… yet I believe it 100%.
This cant happen over night… and it will never happen… unless people take a long hard look at where our society is heading in this ‘post-Christian era’.
Do people *hate Christian values more than they desire to fix the monstrous social evils that manifest themselves in such things as Child abuse, Filling Jails, Ever expanding Government Tyranny?
Why is it that *Today’s generation* are thought less fit to handle the same liberties older generations took for granted?
We are witnessing an atrophy in personal responsibility, and an over-reliance on Government… yet Government cannot Save the children from abuse.
*Only a revival of Strong personal ethics* can hope to ensure Children are safe around their custodians.
That’s my 10 cents worth… my start to the dialogue….I’m open to hearing other opinions… this is a conversation our country needs to have.
Great show of New Zealand Bikers!
If there is one thing I regret is not taking more time to meet many of you.
And if I was to add anything else to this list I would add that there are Far too many people in the know… who collude with the abusers… because they seek to hide the shame that they fear will come upon them and their families if they speak up.
*This is a far greater shame!*
The Abuse Needs to be exposed to the light of Day!
The Children whom suffer desperately need someone to speak up for them and rescue them from such horrific treatment… before they too are Crushed… or murdered!
If you know of abuse… yet say nothing… do nothing… then *you are a accomplice* *You are failing the abused children*.
And that is inexcusable.
How can anyone who knows that children are in danger, and suffer… yet does nothing sleep at night????
Child abuse must be reported.
And if there is no time for the Police to arrive… Step between the Child and their abuser!
You may never face a Human Judge for your Inaction… yet like the scum whom Murdered Moko…. one day you will stand before God Almighty and he will judge you for your sins.
*Nobody escapes the justice of Almighty God.*
My Sign. Photo from Labour MP Sue Moroney’s facebook, who turned up in support for the Vigil, and spoke on the Labour party perspective of the current Legal climate under the National government.
“Dreadful weather today, but these awesome people came out to stand up against violence to children and the unbearable rate of murder in NZ. I spoke at this “Justice for Moko” rally where I told those gathered that we should not accept that our children’s rights can be bargained away.”
Moko is free now… Safe in the arms of Jesus.
I believe this.
And he will look down on today’s rallies that occurred across our nation and will no doubt smile upon everyone who weathered this Wintry day in Tribute to him.
We are all so sorry that we could not save him from these Minions of Satan… yet we can now make sure we do everything we can to reduce the incidence of child abuse in New Zealand.
Let us not forget Moko.
New Zealand Biker.