A death in Glen Eden

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As I write this just over a week ago there was a terrible incident in Glen Eden where a young man named Tim was hit by a car.  The details are subject to a prosecution and speculation is unwise but media reports suggest that there was some sort of argument between Tim and another person, that this other person got into his car and drove back and hit Tim at speed.  Tim was thrown into the air and then fell to the edge of Glendale Road.

Locals sprung into action.  Staff at the Fitness Factory saw the event unfold and local trainer Marc Rainbow ran to help Tim and provide him with CPR.  Staff from the local pharmacy and West View Medical Centre and the Glen Eden Library also came out to see what they could do.

Despite heroic attempts to save Tim’s life his injuries were too severe and I understand that a doctor from West View Medical Centre pronounced him dead.

The institutional response to the death was swift. Thanks to the Glen Eden Business Improvement District the area is covered with high quality video surveillance and thanks to this and also the brave efforts of Kat McCormick, who followed the car after the collision and recorded its details, the driver was quickly and efficiently apprehended by Police. Kat’s actions were particularly brave given that it appears a gun was brandished her way. Again this is subject to criminal proceedings so care should be exercised in discussing details but all that I can say to Marc and Kat is respect.

The Irish Catholic in me thought that the area should be blessed.  Hoani Waititi Marae and Novi Marikena volunteered to do this.

So on Wednesday of this week a group of us including Hoani Waititi Marae representatives, local board members, library staff and locals gathered together as we blessed the area where Tim had been hit and Tim had died. This second area is easy to spot. There is a Samoan flag proudly displayed above it and other items present to remember Tim by.

I then spoke to a Samoan gentleman of my age who turned out to be Tim’s dad.  He thought that the event was to happen at 11 am not 10 am.  I think that between us and the police we scheduled two events immediately after each other to bless the area.

We were more than happy to wait.  Blessing the area twice seemed to be but a minor inconvenience given what had happened.

The family gathered as did a significant crowd of locals.  The Police District Commander and other police officers including the detectives in charge of the case were present at different times.  Papa Fred Holloway attended to help us with spiritual guidance.

The area where Tim landed was blessed.  Karakia were said and Waiata were sung.  Then a member of Tim’s family spoke and a Samoan hymn was sung with gusto.

There was barely a dry eye present.  For the family it was clearly an important part of healing and for locals who had been involved I had the strong sense that this was cathartic, necessary to help them process what had been a traumatic event.

We then welcomed Tim’s aiga to the Library and shared lunch.

They talked about forgiveness which I found remarkable.  Not retribution, not vengeance, but forgiveness.

To Tim’s family and particularly his partner who witnessed everything can I offer my deepest condolences.  To the police can I acknowledge the efficient and professional way this incident has been handled. To the heroes of Glen Eden, particularly Marc and Kat can I thank you.

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  1. Laurie Ross says:

    Thankyou Greg for this well written and poignant story of a man using his car as a weapon in the angry killing. We read so many similar stories of ramraids with stolen cars and attacks with guns or knives by mentally disturbed people. However we seldom learn what led the person to commit such horrendous crime.

    Stealing cigarettes or drugs is not the reason, nor being poor or angry about societal injustice. No the increasing violence in our society is due to other elements that no one is talking about in politics or media. New Zealand used to be a decent society even if unfair in some ways, but it was generally peaceable and respectful.
    Now we see the erosion of social values and violent anti-social behaviour as the norm. WHY?
    The biggest problem is constant bombardment of our minds with violence (as entertainment) through our phones, TVs, netflicks. This digital garbage stream 24/7 through devices in everyone’s pocket, adversely affects our society consciously and unconsciously. We easily categorised as victims, aggressors, protectors or observers.

    The normalisation of every kind of abhorrent vile act is often lauded as ‘a popular production’ to watch. It is presented as fiction with car chases, gun shootings, killings etc then as ‘real life’ news, plus the nasty acts are perpetrated on ‘self-made anti-social media’.
    The particular killing in Glen Eden sounds more like a rash act of extreme anger in a domestic relationship. However it would be useful to call for an inquiry into the factors which influenced this man (and so many others) to be so hateful and violent. Often alcohol, meths or drugs play a major part but that is only part of the problem. Excessive amounts of violent culture is legal and permitted by government, to pervade our screens and minds. WHY? This is the elephant in the room.

    If we really want to reduce violence in our communities then we must reduce it on our screens. I recommend that the government mental health system and the media investigate and expose this violence epidemic on our screens and in our lives. It is not normal nor healthy. The violence on screens threatens mental and social health.
    It is pathetic to claim it is protected as ‘free speech’ or that the ‘free market’ economic system must allow murder and perversion to be shown online-as profitable gaming or entertainment business. Even if government refuses to reduce this mind pollution, they at least should be honest about the danger and damage it is doing.

  2. Tim's uso says:

    RIP USO ❤️

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