Shouldn’t basketball be banned too?

A very strange business, your rahui.

Conan Waihi, a 13-year-old Wairoa College student, has died while trying to rescue his “prized and expensive” basketball after it fell into the Wairoa River.

The youngster pursued the ball into the river but found himself in difficulty about 15m out from the bank. A friend jumped in to try to save him, grabbing his arm, but Conan slipped from his grasp.

Police divers found the youngster’s body at about 1.30pm yesterday.

Earlier in the day, kaumatua put a “rahui”, or ban, on a 2km stretch of the river.

Wairoa District Council Maori liaison officer Ropata Ainsley said he was relying on word of mouth to notify local fishermen, whitebaiters and water skiers who usually used the water.

The rahui would be in place for seven days, he said.

So there we have it. No fishing or whitebaiting for seven days.

Or water-ski-ing.

Yet someone is quoted as saying –

“You see why he went for the ball. It was something that meant something to him.”

There’s no ban – so far as Alf can tell – on playing with basketballs, let alone on playing with basketballs that cost $200.

But it was chasing a basketball that led to Conan’s untimely death, not a mishap which occurred while fishing, whitebaiting or water ski-ing.

2 Responses to Shouldn’t basketball be banned too?

  1. Mits says:

    Actually, the ban wasn’t or 7 days, so I’d get my facts straight before saying anything I were you.

    Secondly, it does not matter if fishing, swimming, water ski-ing ect weren;t involved in the accident. It’s about respect, or do you not know what that means in Eketahuna?

  2. Alf Grumble says:

    If the ban was not for seven days, I trust you have similarly admonished Wairoa District Council Maori liaison officer Ropata Ainsley. My comments were based on his statement, plainly quoted in my blog: “The rahui would be in place for seven days, he said.”

    As for “respect”, in my circles it does not demand a halt to all activities for a certain number of days every time somebody dies. Otherwise nothing would get done.

    For how many days did the ban apply, by the way? It’s all very well asserting I’m wrong – but how about helping out by providing the correct information?

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