North Shore Times : February 10th 2011
11 NORTH SHORE TIMES, FEBRUARY 10, 2011 NEWS 0800 10 95 10 www.languages.unitec.ac.nz The Certi cate in Language Teaching enables you to teach English in New Zealand or when you travel overseas. Practical teaching skills are at the heart of the programme you practise teaching a class of adults for a total of six hours and observe experienced teachers in action. No previous teaching experience required. Course starts 8 March 2011. Enrol now Teach English overseas UNLTE300 3423006AA Beginners Guide To Property Investing FREE 4-hour training workshops We do NOT have any property to sell you! We are NZ Property Investors who are passionate about teaching people just like you, how to secure your financial future through investing in NZ Real Estate. 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As a leading Cambridge Examination Centre and a National Arts Facility, let your child be excellent in a mediocre world. 50 Anzac Rd, Browns Bay, North Shore City. Tel 476 5043 www.corelli.school.nz Serving a long way from the North Shore In the tropics: Les Paterson next to giant bamboo that grows up to 20 metres tall in tropical Timor Leste. Friendly people: Children in an isolated mountain village greet passersby. All aboard: The Timorese police force patrol cars can take up to nine passengers when you include the park benches bolted on the back. North Shore area commander inspector Les Paterson is in Timor Leste serving as Contingent Commander for the NZ Police deployment attached to the United Nations. He shares his experiences after three months in the role. Timor Leste, also known as East Timor, is the eastern half of the Island of Timor. Located 700km northwest of Darwin it seems about the same physical size as Auck- land and Northland combined. Recovering from years of oppression, the popu- lation is now just over one million and has the highest birthrate in the world at 7.2 births per female so there is a burgeoning youth demo- graphic, high unemploy- ment and many young people are disillusioned. Despite this the Timorese are a polite, friendly race of people who are fiercely proud of their sovereignty. The country mainly relies on its oil and gas reserves that are shared with Australia in the Timor Sea, but also exports high quality cof- fee. Most people in rural areas live from subsistence farming and market trading. The fish- ing resource is largely untapped with only very small scale commercial fishing. The benefit of this is that almost anyone can catch fish very close to the coastline, while of course watching out for sharks and salt water crocodiles that have already killed four people this month -- that we know about. Crocodiles have a spiritual symbolism and are not killed, thus they are quite prolific with the plentiful food supply. Being close to the equator, Timor is hot and humid, especially at sea level. Most days at this time of year are 34 to 38 degrees, although we've had a few days where its got to 42. The airconditioning in vehicles does not last long in those extremes and I'm still waiting in a long queue to get the a/c in my UN Landcruiser repaired after a month without it. The social structure is underpinned by elected village chiefs known as sucos. Ninety-five percent of the population are Cath- olic, a legacy of 300 years of Portuguese occu- pation. Timor is divided into 440 villages and the main city of Dili with about 200,000 people is simply a collection of more than 100 villages, often with near invisible dividing lines. Everyone's identity links back to their vil- lage. There is little need for a low level court sys- tem because the suco hears most disputes and minor criminal cases. The suco usually make extremely just and fair decisions which everyone abides by without ques- tion. The wronged party or victim will usually receive cash compen- sation or some water buf- falo. American dollars are the official currency of Timor Leste, but don't bother bringing a credit card because virtually no one accepts them. As a new democratic nation Timor is trying hard to build a quality social order based around rights, freedoms, health and education, while endeavouring to put in place an infra- structure that will sup- port its people and attract foreign invest- ment which will eventu- ally bring much needed employment. It may be the third world, but it grows on you and I'm very com- fortable among the people here. On the other hand, it makes you appreciate how good we've got it in New Zea- land.
February 8th 2011
February 11th 2011