The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

More on the Power v Life debacle

Posted by pauaprincess on June 6, 2007

I really did feel sorry for the family who lost their Mother/Wife to a power bill.  I still do, whether or not the power being disconnected contributed to her death, I think the Power company concerned could have and should have been more socially responsible. 

It has emerged that Mrs Muliaga suffered a heart disorder related to her obesity and it was her obesity which caused her breathing problems.  She was not meant to be reliant on the oxygen machine to breath, it was meant to be used mostly at night while sleeping.  Her doctors expressed surprise that she had died as a result of the disconnection of the power and suggested that in the intervening two hours, her family had plenty of time to call an ambulance.

The fact an ambulance wasn’t called until she went into cardiac arrest two hours following the power disconnection has been put down to her typical Samoan nature, she was home with her children and wouldn’t have wanted to upset them.  I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that they are more upset by her death than they would have been at having to call her an ambulance, but I am not Samoan.

Big River Power have fronted up with $10K, a local firm donated a casket, friends and relations rallied around and today they held a funeral for over 1000 people, with the Prime Minister taking part!  She praised the family for their spirit of forgiveness.

One aspect strikes a very sour note with me.  You see they want the Police to stop their investigation, in fact they have turned on the Police rather spectacularly and accused them of “institutionalised”racism.  This is because the Police interviewed the family extensively, they interviewed them in English, rather than Samoan, they do speak English and English and Maori are the official languages of our country, but apparently they should have been interviewed by a Samoan speaker.  In addition Police rang and asked if they could interview the sons on the day they brought the body home.  Now the Police not being privy to their private religious ceremony may not have known that, but it was apparently offensive that they even requested to do it.  Now what really gets me about this, they haven’t gone to the Police with their complaints, no they’ve gone straight to the press.  The Police response has been that if they have complaints, they should make them to the relevant authorities and Police will not speak to any complaints aired via the news and fair enough.

In spite of all of this, I still feel that what happened was wrong, that companies supplying essential services should be more discerning and socially aware.  All the same, I also have the feeling we’ve all been used and taken for a bit of a ride.

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2 Responses to “More on the Power v Life debacle”

  1. dave said

    Engish is not an official language of NZ, NZ Has two offical languages – sign Language and Maori.

  2. You’re right I forgot sign.

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