Halswell Domain

Halswell Domain
View from the Model Engineers' site in the Halswell Domain

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Keeping Halswell the safe place it has always been

Halswell has long been a very safe community with low levels of crime.  Recently there has been a significant spike in crime, probably due the actions of a very small number of people, and for most of us this this is very unsettling.  

It is good to remember that much of the crime is petty in nature.  However, it is also important to remember to lock cars and homes, to remove valuables from cars, and generally to be security conscious.   Please do make the effort to report any crime to the police.  Even if they can’t do much straight away, they may be able to see patterns in what is going on which may help at a later date.  

Remember too that we all  actually  still live in a community of pretty trustworthy people who care about their neighbours.  There are regular discussions on Facebook and neighbourly where we see people actively helping each other out and thanking others for help, for example. 

Thanks to Halswell Miniature Trains for this pic!
There are a range of things that we can do as a community to discourage crime.  Setting up neighbourhood support groups, getting to know our neighbours, knowing what is going on in our community and knowing about groups that work to protect us are all useful.  

If you are interested, the Halswell Community Project are running a  meeting on Monday 20t June from 7.00 til 9.00pm to the Baptist Church at 6 Balcairn St to discuss this.  A  number of people will speak about what already goes on in our community and how we can work together  to keep Halswell  the safe place it has always been.  There will be an opportunity for discussion afterwards.   

For anyone who can’t make it or who wants to hear more, the Halswell Liaison Group is also discussing Neighbourhood Support groups at midday on Wednesday 29th June at Te Hāpua.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The skate park debate: Finding Common Ground

For those who don't know me, I've been working on a voluntary basis in Halswell for the last 7 years to build more connections between people in our community and to help people feel more connected here - to each other and to the things that go on.

Imagine my discomfort, then as I watch and participate in the debates around a venue for a youth facility and what it turn us into warring factions!

I was deeply upset at the meeting that the CCC ran at Halswell School to discuss this because of the way we were all steered away from talking about what clearly matters very deeply to us.  The meeting felt like it turned into an us versus them competiton.   It is not!  And it made me very sad that lovely people were essentially working very hard to dismiss each other.  This process has resulted in us missing the point by focusing our attention on a skate park.  Incidentally, we are also missing an opportunity to deepen our sense of community and with it to feel that we are ALL safe and supported as part of this community.

I work to build community because I see that everyone who lives here really matters and that we all do better if we look after each other.  Based on my own experience, and having studied the experiences of others, I know that we in Halswell are more than resourceful enough to deal with our differences, and meet each other's needs at the same time if we choose to work together.    I"m not arguing that it is easy and I am sure that we will have to work to discuss our disagreements.  I also know that we are stronger, safer and happier when we work together than when we split apart and lose sight of our common humanity and our common ground. 

My question to everyone is how can we meet the needs of all who live here?
  • How can we meet the needs of our young people for a safe place to meet  and spend time with their friends, to play and build social skills together with other kids, and to have a safe place to develop and practice physical skills?  
  • How can we meet the needs of local residents to feel safe and secure in their own homes?  
  • How do we convince each other that we do in fact care for the wellbeing of all those we live near?   
At the moment I think that we are missing important understanding by focusing our attention on trying to influence the Community Board, rather than spending time talking to each other across the gap that seems to have opened up about how the needs of everyone can be met. This is not all our fault, but it IS for us to do something about.

Dismissing the needs of any group in this community is not, and never will be, the way through this.