Saturday, 1 August 2009


Last night we spent a fascinating few hours with an old asssociate - Denis O'Reilly

We go back over 20 years - when he headed the powerful and influential Group Employment Liaison scheme and we were plying our self developed model of multi faceted rehabilitation in Invercargill jail.

Denis O'Reilly is Black Power and he has a life that is well lived. Today instead of some opposing member of a rival gang, it the drug "P" that Denis has in his sights.

Denis is still a part of the scene, that much is evidenced by a recent driveby where he was the target of a shooting.

He, and my good friend Harry Tam have seen the wholesale damage this drug has done to a generation and they want to see it gone. They have embarked on a crusade to do their very practical bit to see the end of its ravages.

We don't necessarily agree on everything. But we agree that something must be done and it is good that the Maori Party is leading the charge.

I could tell some of Denis's story , but it is his to tell and he tells it well. There are shades of J K Baxter in his stony Irish rooted persona - not a strange thing really, as he and Harry are lovers of words such as these.

High Country Weather
Alone we are born
and die alone
Yet see the red-gold cirrus
over snow-mountain shine
upon the upland road
ride easy stranger
Surrender to the sky
your heart of anger.

So take a journey and set aside some good time to read what he is saying. It is a well written, well argued strategy. I urge all politicians and policy makers to digest it.