A vigil for unity in Ranui

Last updated 05:00 27/05/2014
Ranui locals

STANDING TOGETHER: From left Ranui Birdwood School principal Mike Carswell-Griffiths, Ranui Action Project co-chair Linda Cooper and Ranui resident Judy Drewet.

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Shocked residents are rallying together after a bloody week of violence and death in Ranui.

A candlelight vigil will be held at the suburb's community centre car park at 5pm on Thursday in memory of Farhat Rana Malik, 56, and her daughter Sidra Noor Malik, 18 - both stabbed to death in their Pooks Rd home on May 19.

Malik's husband Ishrat Malik has been arrested and is facing two charges of murder.

The killings were followed by the death of Josh Roach, 23, after a double shooting on Luanda Dr two days later.

The other victim, Ricky Lum, 20, is still in hospital. His brother Trae Lorenz Lum, 18, and father Allen George Lum, 41, have been charged with possession of an unlawful weapon and police are investigating.

Community members are determined to maintain a positive mood in the suburb.

Judy Drewet has lived in Ranui for more than 40 years and feels strongly for those affected by the events.

"This just shows it's about getting to know your neighbours more," she says.

"We try our best but this is a wake-up call for our community. We need to get messages out there and let people know they can ask for help."

Ranui's Birdwood School principal Mike Carswell-Griffiths says the pupils and their families are being encouraged to talk.

"Our school is very open and supportive. Staff, including a chaplain and social worker, are ready to support anyone if needed."

Carswell-Griffiths is proud to be part of a community "known for its collaborative work ethic, commitment and unity".

"Our community has the resilience and strength to get through this as that is what makes Ranui a wonderful place to live and work in."

Waitakere councillor and Ranui Action Project (RAP) co-chairwoman Linda Cooper says the suburb is far from broken and the deaths could happen anywhere in New Zealand.

She and her co-chairman Shane Henderson believe Ranui people are proud, resilient and upbeat. "They're really a tight happy bunch. It would be a shame to tar Ranui with that violence brush when there's so many good things happening," Cooper says.

Positive changes are happening in Ranui with plans for a new library, supermarket, medical centre and youth facility.

A WORD FROM PENNY HULSE

The sad events in Ranui over the last week have had an impact on our west Auckland community especially Ranui residents and their families.

Thank you to all those on the frontline dealing with the immediate impact of these tragic events. Having lived in the Ranui-Swanson area for the last 30 years, I have a huge respect for this close-knit community.

When I was a member of Waitakere City Council we worked closely with the community on the Ranui Action Plan, the rebuilding of the library and redevelopment of the community house, and the wonderful improvements at Starling Park.

There are fantastic community initiatives happening in Ranui every day and we cannot let these recent events be seen as a reflection of the whole community.

Together with councillor Linda Cooper and the local board, I will continue to support and work with the wonderful people of Ranui.

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Penny Hulse

Deputy Mayor

Auckland Council

- Western Leader

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