Sunday Star Times

29 June 2003

Many thanks to Kiwi Attic for the scan

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Dicing with death all in a good cause

Lucy Lawless had her "most civilised encounter with death" when she jumped off Auckland's Sky Tower yesterday in a bid to stop child abuse.

Lawless, supporting Puawaitahi, the country's first multi-agency centre to investigate and treat child abuse and neglect, did the sky jump with her daughter Daisy, 14, from one of the world's highest jumps.

"It was fantastic. I wasn't going to do it because I've been sick with the flu but I got up there and I just had to," Lawless said.

"I'm not scared of heights at all but I had been sick. It was the first time I've done it.

"I've been thrown off bridges and out of helicopters but this was the most civilised encounter with death I've had. This is the best way to do it."

Lawless said she would bring back some friends staying in New Zealand to do the jump. Her daughter "loved it but no surprises there".

Puawaitahi houses staff from Starship Hospital's child and adolescent abuse assessment unit, the police and Child, Youth and Family "under one roof" opposite Starship Hospital.

Sky City and the Starship Foundation, of which Lawless is a trustee, have launched a fundraising campaign to provide clothing, transport, emergency food vouchers and toys for families in need. Sky City will donate a portion of discounted admission prices from the family fun appeal to the foundation.

"It's a way of making good on the promises to all those heart-wrenching stories from the end of the 90s. The problems haven't gone away. There's still a long way to go, but it's a good start."

The appeal runs until Friday, July 4.

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