Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stand up and be counted

The lovely edder over at I don’t care for your tone, just celebrated her 100th post belatedly and it made me check and find that my next post (i.e. this one) would be the not so auspicious but worth celebrating anyway, 150th.

I made a bit of an effort to post something from the heart on my 100th (see ‘A century without loss’ here if you’re interested), so I thought that surely 150 was worth some effort as well.

So here goes…


ASIDE: The 2005 video below is of a local band The feelers singing a song that encapsulates the way I try to live my life every day. Not the greatest quality video but was the best I could find. 


I wasn’t actually going to post about this event EVER as it casts me in a somewhat questionable light but what the hell. I’ve obtained the necessary permission on the proviso that I change the name of the other person involved.

Last Saturday I nearly got myself carted away by the cops. Again.

My immediate neighbour is a young Maori girl. She’s on her own with her 2 young kids after  she finally got the gumption to show him the door a few months back. He was no good.

Aroha* and I are not exactly friends though I respect her parenting style and choosing to go it alone rather than put up with crap. She works a fulltime job though she needn’t, the social welfare system in New Zealand provides enough to live on and is universal and is based on the belief that single parents are better off at home caring for their children until the children start school at least. That’s not her style though and when he left she started looking for a job. Luckily I was able to help her out through a friend.

She’s gotten herself in trouble with her rent over the last few weeks (for various reasons that I won’t go into) and her landlord was trying to evict her but without going through the proper legal channels. Aroha came to me for advice as she had no proper rental agreement with the landlord and he was obviously counting on being able to get rid of her easily. I talked to him more than once on Aroha’s behalf and tried to negotiate a rent schedule which would allow her to catch up while also reminding him of his legal responsibilities. All to no avail – D day was last Saturday and if she wasn’t out when he turned up at 12o’clock, “there’d be trouble”.    

This story is getting much longer than I intended so I’ll speed it up.

On my advice Aroha didn’t budge. I was there with her. The landlord turned up and quickly got threatening.  I called the cops. His ‘boys’ started moving furniture out onto the driveway. Her babies were crying. The cops turn up at just the wrong moment when I was venting a stream of invective at the scum lowlife bast**d and I got promptly frogmarched out into the back seat of the police car. Aroha was crying – it was freakin’ chaos.

Anyway, one of the cops sat in the car and got the full story from me which obviously changed the situation (not that she let me out of the car immediately – she thought I needed some quiet time to calm down).  The landlord was sent packing and a mediation session with the Tenancy Tribunal was booked for yesterday.



Aroha now has a proper and lawful tenancy agreement with the landlord and has committed to sorting out her finances and making sure she keeps up with the rent.  She and I have an ‘appointment’ later today to draw up a budgeting plan for her.

Sometimes we just need to stand up against what we know is wrong.


*Aroha is not her real name though it is a real Maori girls name. It means love. See the similarity to the Hawaiian language? Aloha can mean love/affection as well as hello or goodbye.


  1. Lou, it is great that you gave her a hand up and not a hand out. I am sure she appreciates the life lessons you pass on.
    Good for both of you.
    For a while there I thought you were going to ask us for bail money.

  2. Glad the story had a nice ending. I am a bit curious about just how a 'frogwalk' is accomplished.

  3. Lori I'm almost certain she'd have declined a hand out - very independant girl and anyway things aren't quite that bad, she just made a silly purchase.

    Frogmarched; to cause to move forward unwillingly (see achieved with 2 cops, each holding an upper arm. You've led a sheltered life Punch :-)

  4. As they say in the US Marine Corps, you've got guts, Lou, and guts is enough.

    Well done. :)

  5. Don't know about that Tim - just can't help myself more like.

  6. Great story, and further proves my theory: if you don't tsand up for somebody then how can you expect anyone to stand up for you.

    Nice that you stood up.
    Real nice.

  7. You are a bloody superhero lou!
    Good on ya mate.

  8. Lou - good for you and I am so pleased that the story has a good ending. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Good going, Lou! Not only did you do the right thing, but you also set a marvelous example for Aroha and her children. (I'm also impressed that the law didn't start cracking heads all around.)

  10. Too true Bob - "do unto others" and all that

    lol sas

    Joanne - lucky I think that it all turned out OK, I really have a hot head that I need to learn to control

    intelliwench - our law are pretty good here actually, the odd f**k up but normally they do a fine job


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