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Community Building Opens To Curb Violence

15 February 2001


Manukau City Council will officially open it’s doors to a new community building in Mangere Town Centre tomorrow night – a direct result of the determination from local residents and community leaders to curb the number of violent attacks in the area.

The opening of the new building, which will act as a day and night base for Maori wardens, local Matai and volunteer patrols, comes 18 months after Fatu Aiono was savagely beaten outside a TAB in Mangere. A spate of unprovoked violent attacks in the town centre sparked a wave of action by Mangere locals that led to community meetings with police, Manukau City Council, church leaders and owners of the two local bars.

As a result of these meetings, Manukau City Council erected more lights in the carpark and the Mayor of Manukau, Sir Barry Curtis, donated a temporary building for local volunteers to use until funding was finalised for a permanent base. Project manager, councillor James Papali’I says violence in the town centre was reduced once the temporary base was established.

Cr, Papali’I, whose father Papali’i Tele was a leader in the Samoan community group Fesoasoani Trust and instrumental in facilitating the erection of better lighting and a permanent site, says violence should never be tolerated in any community.

“Communities working together create positive change. By doing nothing you allow problems, whatever they may be, to exist in your community. This is just one step we have taken to ensure people know violence isn’t acceptable around here and that we want people to feel safe, “ says Cr. Papali’i.

Cr. Papali’i says the new base is a tribute to the work of his father who didn’t survive to see the fruition of his dream – a safe community beginning with a safe fale (meeting place) for community volunteers who work tirelessly, day and night, for others.

The new community building located on the corner of Bader Drive and Orly Rd and will be officially opened by Mayor Sir Barry Curtis on Thursday February 15 at 4.25pm.

Media Contact:
Gabrielle Hinton
Media Liaison Support Officer
Ph: 09 2637100 x 8650
Fax: 09 2625759
Email: ghinton@manukau.govt.nz

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