Manukau Courier : November 26th 2010
www.manukaucourier.co.nz Friday, November 26, 2010 WE WANT YOU Please help us to help the National Burn Centre. Text HEAL to 4740 to donate $3. OPERATION THE MAD BUTCHER AND SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS TRUST COMMUNITY Sir Peter Charles Leitch KNZM, QSM. Chairman, The Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust Self-harm game warning By DAVID TAURANGA POLICE are pleading with parents to be hyper-vigilant after a 10-year-old boy and two 12-year-old girls died because of self-harming incidents. One of the girls died last Friday after receiving a com- munication'' -- believed to be a text message -- which instructs and dares children to perform a self-harm act. That same day another 12-year-old girl who received the same message was also involved in a self-harming incident. Police say the communi- cation, which is either verbal or in written form like text messaging, is believed to have circulated among students at six Papakura pri- mary and intermediate schools so far. Only the 12-year-old girl's death is confirmed as being linked to the text message. But all south Auckland parents are being warned not to be complacent. Manurewa East Primary School principal Phil Palfrey says parents need to make sure they know what's happening with their chil- dren. It's really important for parents to monitor what their kids are doing, especially online. Many parents have no idea what their children are doing. A lot of kids are get- ting up to things they think their parents will never find out about.'' Technology plays a huge role in young people's lives and it's important for parents to monitor their online activity, especially on sites like Bebo and Facebook, he says. And if parents are aware their children are being bull- ied through text messaging or the internet they must get involved. Counties Manukau south policing area commander Gary Hill says police, Child Youth and Family and the Ministry of Education are working with schools and other agencies to prevent further incidents of self- harm. Police are treating the mat- ter very seriously'', Mr Hill says, and Papakura CIB is investigating the origin of the communication. We ask parents to be vigil- ant by taking an interest in their children's daily activi- ties, particularly with the upcoming school holidays. And, please, if there are children or adults out there in need of urgent attention don't hesitate to call police.'' Call 111 if you have immediate concerns for the safety of any child or young person or contact Child Youth and Family on 0508-326-459 if concerns are not immediate. Siuta gets his teeth stuck into ukulele festival By JESSIE COLQUHOUN Tucking in: Fourteen-year-old Siuta Veaila plays the ukulele with his teeth. Photo: SHANE WENZLICK It wasn't enough for Siuta Veaila to learn how to play the ukulele with his fingers. He also had to learn how to do it with his teeth. The 14-year-old from Otara recently won Ukequest -- New Zealand's first search for teen ukulele talent -- when he blew away the judges with a rendition of Pokarekare Ana played with his pearly whites. The Tangaroa College stu- dent started ukulele lessons with legendary player Sione Aleki when he was nine. Mr Aleki was famous for playing with his teeth and that inspired Siuta to give it a go too. It's pretty easy, he reckons. You play two strings with your top teeth and the other two with your bottom row. But he admits his talent is quite unusual'' and can shock his audience. When I start playing with my teeth they're surprised,'' he says. The teenager doesn't read sheet music and plays by ear instead. He can learn almost any song just by listening to it and spends a lot of time on Youtube searching for new tunes to play. Siuta practises the ukulele for 30 minutes each day at home with his dad Paula on back-up. The duo will be performing together during tomorrow's New Zealand Ukulele Festival at the Trusts Stadium in Hender- son. The Kiwileles, a mass orchestra of 2000 schoolkids, will join Siuta to play Pokarekare Ana. But he'll be the only one strumming with his teeth. Go to www.manukaucourier.co.nz to see Siuta's toothy rendition.
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