Goodsorts: New Plymouth woman started playground for autistic children

Theresa Thongi has been running a playground in New Plymouth for autistic children for four years, but there's one thing wrong with it. Source: 1 NEWS

Military veterans with PTSD say government should do more to support them

A broken back while serving in Bosnia left Daryl Burton in excruciating pain. Seventeen years later he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The mental health inquiry also looked into the plight of military veterans with mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder.
Source: 1 NEWS

“I joked with my GP, who just happened to be an ex-military guy, that maybe I’ve got PTSD and it’s just all in my mind. And he said ‘hmmmm’.”

"That was quite confrontational. Even then it took me a little bit of time to come to terms with the fact that this may be happened and maybe I do have this issue," he told 1News.

Former soldier Bill Blaikie also struggled with the illness for a decade. It wasn't until a suicide attempt that he finally got help.

"The journey to recovery started then. We're all prone to it and you don’t actually have to be in a combat zone to get it."

He recently travelled to Australia for treatment and took part in a cross-agency support programme.

"My course we had two police, a paramedic, a train driver, and another veteran."

“I would like to see not just NZDF or Veteran’s Affairs leading this, but coming forward and working as a whole of Government approach. Because this effects firemen, ambulance drivers, police, people who have gone through sexual abuse… so the illness is the same so we should have one combined approach to putting trauma therapy in place.”

Defence Minister Ron Mark told 1 News the illness is something close to his heart.

"There are friends of mine who suffer from it and I have a couple of friends… one whose death is really unexplained and the other who didn’t get help.”

"So I've been very critical of how defence has handled this issue in the past," he told 1 News.

The minister said the issue will be considered in the government's mental health inquiry but he says a cross-agency-approach could be looked into further.

"We have a responsibility to look after these people. Whether we do that across the whole of government agency, we will have to have that conversation down the line."

NZDF has recently developed its own mental health strategy and is now sharing what its learnt with the Government and the mental health inquiry.

"We will see what comes of Professor Patterson’s review, but we are part of that conversation,” Director of Defence Health Brigadier Andy Gray told 1News.

A conversation that many say needs to keep happening to better support our service men and women.

Need to talk? 1737 – Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – Free call 0800 LIFELINE (543 354), or free text HELP (4357)
- 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 or

The Lowdown: A website to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety. or free text 5626 –  Online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed

OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 for support related to sexual orientation or gender identity 


Five Hamilton teens arrested over stolen vehicle, attempted robbery and fleeing police

Five Hamilton youths have been arrested in connection with a stolen vehicle, an attempted armed robbery and a petrol drive-off yesterday afternoon.

Acting Detective Sergeant Harry Hodgson said they allegedly stole a Volkswagen Golf around 11.15am from an address in Fairfield before driving to a dairy in Morrinsville.

Four of them entered the dairy with one allegedly being armed with a knife, but fled without taking anything.

They then headed to a petrol station on the corner of State Highway 1 and Karapiro Road where they filled up the car with petrol and drove off without paying.

The car was spotted on State Highway 1 near Hicks road with police unsuccessfully attempting to stop the car.

They eventually came to a stop on the Waikato Expressway. They will appear in the Hamilton Youth Court tomorrow.

Cops are searching for a man after an aggravated robbery at a bar in the Hawke’s Bay town today.
Source: 1 NEWS