I speak for myself when I say this, because like MP George Angene and his children Apii and Mareta, I’ve used my fists to resolve conflict.
In the early 2000s I stood in a court dock on a charge of assault after beating a woman.
I share this because like the Angenes, people need to understand why I faced that charge and why I was discharged without conviction.
The woman I hit smacked me in the face with a glass beer bottle that smashed during what I thought was a friendly conversation.
She could have blinded me; in fact, she could have killed me. But like Ngametua Tiatoa she also suffered from serious addiction issues.
Like Apii, I went and saw her the next day and apologised for what I had done to her.
Since then, I’ve learnt that violence solves nothing.
But I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have done what Apii did, had my children been subjected to watching a man sniffing petrol and acting inappropriately.
As parents, it is our fundamental obligation and responsibility to protect our children.
People will argue that we are poor role models, violent thugs and say the police arrested the wrong man, but put yourself in their shoes.
If Tiatoa can forgive, then why can’t we?