The Paua Palace

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

Power cut death : The final chapter

Posted by pauaprincess on June 16, 2007

What appears to be the final chapter appeared in the Herald this morning.

No wonder the family wanted their statements back.  According to the Herald the Police enqiry has established that at  the son (aged 20) did not make the contractor aware of his mothers situation with the oxygen machine, his statement contradicts what the family have told the media, the power had been disconnected at least 4 times previously when the family got behind and the contractor had used his discretion in not cutting off the power to a household with a sick child on the same day. 

Family spokesperson or should he be called media liason,  says the Police didn’t ask the boys about what they told the contractor (and he’d know because he wasn’t in the room) and that he was unaware of any previous disconnections.

Mercury Energy and the Police had nothing to say about these revelations.

So, first of all Brendan Sheehan uber concerned relative who has been spouting off to the media isn’t really that concerned is he?  Or he’d have been fully aware of the Muliaga Family’s situation prior to the death of Folole Muliaga.  Perhaps he’s playing dumb for the civil case? 

Either way, the civil prosecution doesn’t look very good:

  • Mrs Muliaga was gravely ill with an obesity related heart condition, she refused to make the lifestyle changes which could have alleviated her condition,

  • She turned her back on the medication which would have prolonged her life,

  • She wasn’t or shouldn’t have been dependent on the oxygen which was meant to assist with oxygenation while sleeping it was not life support,

  • The family did nothing to let Mercury know about these ongoing problems, in fact they’d had the power disconnected before. 

  • It appears despite what the family have said, the adult son who was with Mrs Muliaga didn’t alert the contractor to the medical issues, after all he is the only one who can truthfully say what happened,

  • The contractor was able to and did indeed exercise discretion with regard to cutting off power to another household that very day, 

  • The family’s phone was also disconnected for non payment, the boys didn’t call an ambulance until 2 1/2 hours after the disconnection despite their mother allegedly being dependent upon the oxygen machine. 

If anything good has come of this whole situation it is that companies supplying essential services will be looking at how they are handling their non paying customers.  While I think it is good for them to do that, to use discretion and compassion in their day to day dealings, they are not social services either.  What they need to be doing is referring people with payment issues to the relevant agencies and giving them time to come up with a solution, rather than doing all of the running around checking with social services prior to disconnecting.

As for the Muliaga’s, it’s a tragic situation that could have and should have had a better outcome.  The family can’t just shove all the blame onto Mercury or Telecom.  They are responsible to a degree and Mrs Muliaga is responsible too.  Mrs Muliaga could have taken actions long ago that would have seen her alive today after all, she gambled with her life and she lost.



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