Matt King

Building families, building houses

by Matt King, Member of Parliament for Northland

As a former policeman, I have seen more than my share of family violence. In that role and now as a member of parliament, I know that police and social services are struggling to cope with the sheer scale of it.

For all those reasons, I was delighted to read in the Kaipara Lifestyler last week that two Dargaville locals are getting together with community organisations to promote stronger families and an end of violence within families.

Dianna King (no relation) and Rebecca Davidson are organising a music and dance event called Voice of Tamariki Everywhere with the aim of bringing families together for what they describe as a free festival of positivity against family violence.

Good on them. Moreover, good on those Dargaville entertainers, organisers and companies that are giving their time and service free of charge to support the event.

A concerted community effort such as this is just what we need to send a clear and unequivocal message that family violence in our community is unacceptable. Voices of Tamariki Everywhere begins at 5.15pm on Friday, September 20 at the Dargaville Town Hall and is 100 per cent free for families.

More good news from elsewhere in the community.

Last Friday, I visited Dargaville High School to see the work of the students and tutors at their building academy. What a privilege to see these young people at work, learning practical skills from experienced builders and tradespeople and providing homes for people at a fraction of the cost of houses elsewhere.

That they have a building academy at all is a testament to the culture of innovation and vision that has long been characteristic of this school and its community.

Again, good on them. Good on Dargaville.