Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Zealand family's power turned off by contractor - mother is tragically dead three hours later. What a mean spirited decision...her life is worth only a lousy NZ$168.40.

The following story is all the news here, and maybe in other parts of the world too.

A Pacific Island woman had her power cut off by a contractor working for an Auckland power company - three hours later she was tragically dead. She relied on the power to operate her oxygen breathing machine.

Mother of four Folole Muliaga, aged 44 years, died last Tuesday , three hours after a Mercury Energy contractor cut power to her home in
Mangere, South Auckland - and her electrically operated oxygen machine - because she was late paying a NZ$168.40 bill.

The family of the Samoan pre-school teacher allegedly pleaded with the contractor not to turn off the power because it was necessary to operate the oxygen machine.

The family is so angry they have already sought legal advice. However, others say to give the bereaved family space to grieve and bury their wife, mother, and aunt.

There have also been anomalies in the stories the media have received from both parties to the tragedy.

Because the power company involved is a state owned enterprise the prime minister, Helen Clark, has become involved, and is demanding answers. The Minister of Energy has been in contact with the power company and their contractor.

The police have been investigating the matter from the beginning, and their report will be forthcoming and will decide the legalities of the situation.

There have already been protests outside the energy company's building. There have even been questions raised about the family's slow response to ring an ambulance; but everything is pure speculation until the facts are made available.

Her life is worth a lousy NZ$168.40...what an indictment of the market economy friends!

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