GUEST BLOG: James Papali’i – Mangere Peace Festival

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Mangere Mana branch are organizing the Mangere Peace Festival in response to the two stabbings that occurred on the same day injuring local youth several weeks ago. One happened outside my son’s school and I remember ringing home after hearing sketchy information about the incident on the radio, to see if he was ok. The other happened in the Tongan Christian School involving 11 year olds who were fighting on school grounds. Both victims were hospitalized with the Tongan youth receiving a stab wound to the head. In all my years as a Social Worker in Mangere, I’ve never come across two violent stabbings in the same day by youth as young as eleven.

Local bands, dancers, poets, youth groups and community leaders will be attending the Mangere Peace Festival inside the Mangere Town Centre on Saturday 26 July starting at 12 noon to 3pm as a community positive community response. This is an opportunity for our community to come together and reflect on the tragic occurrences of extreme violence involving our youth. It is a time for healing and contemplating positive strategies to improve youth relationships and safety. The Mangere Town Centre management committee are happy to support this initiative and work together in ensuring this festival is successful and achieves positive outcomes.

Community and family stresses are increasing in Mangere as a result of cheap booze outlets on every corner, along with pokie machines, loan sharks and illegal highs. As a community we came together several weeks ago to oppose yet another new liquour outlet opening outside the same schools that one of the stabbings took place. We can come together again to heal the wounds, celebrate the good things in Mangere and plan a positive way forward.

Internet MANA will be at the festival with Laila Harre and Hone Hararwira speaking.

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James Papali’i: Raised in Mangere South Auckland, Auckland University 1984 BA and Massey University Post grad Diploma Social Policy 2002. Currently Social Worker for Manukau Urban Maori Authority working in Mangere and South Auckland. Founder of Manukau Outriggers Waka Ama 1988 and Portage Crossing Waka Ama club based at Mangere Bridge. Manukau City Councillor rep Mangere Ward….1998-2006 Current Internet MANA Party candidate.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Mana – Responsive and responsible.
    Internet – resourceful

    Combined – showing another way to engage.

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