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Monday, 20 August 2012
Page: 9094

Ms HALL (ShortlandGovernment Whip) (13:53): I received a letter from Pastor Louise Shanks from the Lakes Baptist Church at Gorokan. They are involved in a program with TEAR Australia, where TEAR stands for transformation, empowerment, advocacy and relief. It is about contributing to aid and development. A weekend conference was recently held for 70-plus children. Pastor Shanks said she went there to educate the children but found she was educated and challenged by them.

I will share some of the messages sent to me by children who attended. One message, from Mckayla, said, 'Please can you help the poor children and families in the world.' Another one, from Stephanie, said: 'Stop and think of the poor. Please think of the very desperate in need. Enough is enough. Rag-pickers and the poor—they need your help. Yes, you can help.' There are many such inspiring letters from these young people, who have a very strong social conscience. Ella, who is aged nine, wrote, 'Dear politician, please remember to help the poor people in need.' I call on all members of this parliament to support those young people at the Gorokan church and to join together and support the poor of the world.