64 days ago

Funeral directors give tips on how to grieve when funerals are banned

Brian from New Lynn

Losing someone to death is hard enough. But losing someone during a lockdown - when funerals are banned and not even a hug is allowed - would arguably be even more heartbreaking. The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand has come forward with a special Covid-19 resource for families who will experience the death of a loved one in the next four weeks and what they can do to help in the grieving process.
Association president Gary Taylor said it was in support of bereaved families who felt extremely distressed that they could not hold a funeral, tangi or any other kind of gathering for their lost loved one. "It offers ideas gathered in from Kiwis from right around New Zealand who understand grief and recognise how painful this Covid-19 situation must be for anyone grieving a loved one's death," he said. "Our funeral directors are feeling deep concern for bereaved families and are totally committed to supporting them as best they can in this unprecedented time." In the resource, people are encouraged to speak to the funeral director who is caring for their relative; or speak with a cultural leader, church minister or priest, rabbi, Muslim cleric or other religious leader they are comfortable with. People are being told that they will have to delay any funeral or memorial service for at least the period of the four-week lockdown. Instead of a funeral service, FDANZ suggests connecting with other relatives and friends via technology - whether it be video-calling via Skype or Facetime or email and a simple phone call. Even Facebook makes the list - with the suggestion for a grieving family to make up a dedicated page where loved ones can post special memories, videos or photos of the person who has died. Eulogies could also be written via a digital memorial guest book set up by the funeral director or making up a photo board or wall in the house. Another suggestion is to publish a notice in the newspaper and including a special request to those who knew their loved one. "Perhaps make it longer by saying some of the things you loved about them and asking people to take the time to remember them at a certain time. "For example: 'Please take the time to remember [name] and the wonderful person she/he was on Friday at 3pm and pray a prayer of thanksgiving/light a candle/raise a glass/have a cup of tea in her/his honour." The FDANZ also acknowledges that there will be people who still need extra support during this time. Anyone who feels that way can call the Grief Centre about phone support services available during weekday hours on (09) 418 1457 or 0800 331 333.

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Show neighbours your photography snaps of Auckland!

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

Kia ora Auckland, it's time to dust off that old camera, get out and about and show the rest of your neighbours your favourite, treasured spots in your region. It could be an awesome view, the shy wildlife or even the old buildings that are wanting their stories to be told.

Go ahead, get snapping and illustrate what's beyond your backyard.

Post your photographs in the comments below ⬇️

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10 hours ago

Apprenticeship fees scrapped for all from July 1

Brian from New Lynn

The $320 million programme aims to stave off a sharp drop in training that occurred after the global financial crisis, when trainees plunged from 133,000 to 83,000. It will be funded out of a four-year, $1.6 billion package announced in last month's Budget, which also includes a further $412m employer apprenticeship subsidy which has yet to be detailed. The Budget said the $320m fund for free trades training would be restricted to "courses linked to industry skills needs in building and construction, agriculture and manufacturing and also vocational courses like community health, counselling and care work". Education Minister Chris Hipkins says the free courses will now be extended to all apprentices in all industries. However, apprentices and trainees in targeted sectors will have compulsory student services fees and other compulsory course costs paid as well as their training fees.
The targeted sectors for the rest of this year are:
• Primary industries, including agriculture, horticulture and viticulture, fisheries (including aquaculture) and forestry;
• Construction, including building, plumbing, and civil engineering;
• Community support, including youth work, care for elderly, counselling and community health, including mental health and addiction support;
• Manufacturing and mechanical engineering and technology;
• Electrical engineering; and
• Road transport (eg heavy vehicle operator).
"For 2021, we will refine these initial targeted areas to reflect the work that is under way across Government to better understand how industry workforce needs are being affected by Covid-19 and what skills will be needed to support the country's economic recovery," Hipkins said. The measures will apply to existing apprentices and trainees as well as new sign-ups, and will apply from July 1 this year until December 2022. Trainees will save up to $6780 for an NZ Certificate in Mechanical Engineering. The move comes just in time, as Statistics NZ said building consents for new dwellings in April dropped 17 per cent below the same month last year due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation chief executive Warwick Quinn said the drop could have forced employers to lay off up to 30 per cent of their apprentices without Government support. "At the moment our apprentice numbers are holding up, however we are not seeing the number of signups because of the large drop-off over the lockdown," he said. "We have quite a number waiting in the wings for the Government's announcement on free fees - several hundred waiting for that decision." He said some employers were ready to hire more apprentices with Government support. "I had a call from a pretty large contractor asking, 'Do you think there will be sufficient support that will provide me with enough to be able to employ someone fulltime so I can manage all of my apprentices? If I could afford to, I would take on another 30'," Quinn said. "My hope is that that is going to happen. They are quite a big commercial builder in Wellington."
Auckland builder Ross Faulkner, who has eight apprentices, said he intends to keep them all even though house-building projects he had lined up before the lockdown for an architect and two Air NZ staff have been put on hold because of the Covid-19 crisis. "Stress levels are rising, you might say," he said. "We have been able to juggle are expecting a few jobs to come through in the next week or two."