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North & South - April Issue

11 March 2011

When love is a one-way street
When her two-year-old son was diagnosed with autism, Auckland neurologist Rosamund Hill began a journey – into his brain.

Five years later, Hill’s medical odyssey has become an obsession, taking her to all parts of the world and running up an $80,000 a year bill for therapy.

Yet, her son now knows fewer words than he did at three. His closed-in world remains largely impenetrable despite his mother’s unwavering dedication and love.

Donna Chisholm reports on Rosamund Hill’s struggle to understand this baffling, frustrating and sometimes heart-breaking condition – and the uphill battle faced by Kiwi parents of autistic children.

New Zealand’s meanest street?
Farmer Crescent. Locals often call it Lower Hutt’s “war zone”. It’s a place of broken windows and faded dreams. Parts of the neighbourhood resemble a ghost town, marked by a sense of desperation and glaring poverty.

With the community torn apart by gang violence and intimidation, Housing NZ has taken a hard-line approach, including trying to evict several families from their homes.

While some residents have left, others condemn the plan and refuse to budge. Mike White visits Farmer Crescent to see whether it’s a lawless gangland or a community abandoned by the authorities.

Prostitute street wars
Every morning staff from Papatoetoe’s Sutton Crescent sports complex do a “condom round”. The daily debris is stark evidence that the Hunter’s Corner sex circuit has pushed residents and local businesses to breaking point.

Joanna Wane reports on the locals’ call to ban prostitution around their South Auckland town centre. She canvasses the horror stories from both sides of the street, seeks out those who believe there’s a workable solution, and brings to light an issue many believe belongs in the dark.

Voices of hope from Christchurch
February 22 was the second day of the 2011 University of Canterbury’s journalism diploma course – and then everything changed. Lives, dreams, careers – forever framed by one catastrophic event. Jim Tully, head of social and political sciences, presents a collection of his students’ observations and reflections of our darkest day.

It’s all in the April edition of North & South on newsstands from Monday, March 14.

ENDS

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