More on Viliami Halaholo

Both Sunday papers have stories on Viliami Halaholo, the father of Paula Bennett’s granddaughter.

The Herald on Sunday cite the most recent parole decision saying he still posed an “undue risk” if released, his drug use in prison (but not recently it seems as last three tests have been clean), and his previous offending. All not a pretty picture.

The Sunday Star-Times has Paul Holmes advising Paula Bennett to basically stop supporting Halaholo, or risk losing her daughter.

There is no doubt Paula and her daughter Ana have some tough decisions, either way. Cutting a father out of a child’s life is not some trivial decision. It means a child that grows up without a father, a mother without a partner, possible legal action, possible conflict within your own family.

Likewise it is a tough and risky decision to give a young man a chance to turn his life around when he is out of prison. If he offends again, then questions of judgement arise.

So it is all a complex measure of risk. If you abandon Halaholo, it is probably almost certain he will return to a life of crime. But if you continue to support him once released, well the risk is still there.

But what do I personally think? Well I think it is a decision for Paula and Ana to be made in private, not on the front page of the Sunday papers, and while well intentioned I am sure – not with the public advice of Paul Holmes. If Paul wanted to really help, then write them a private letter.

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