Welcome to Kaitaia
Residents of the small Northland town of Kaitaia suffered $10,000 in damages after a ‘group’ of 10 tanked up kids rampaged through the town for three and a hlaf hours on Monday night last week. Three and a half hours, where were the police at the time?
The Northern Advocate said:
“It is alleged the group involved in last week’s incident comprised 10 youths led by a 16-year-old girl and included others aged 12, 13, 14 and 15.
Police have identified eight of the 10 suspected. Five are to appear in the Kaitaia Youth Court next month charged with burglary, receiving and shoplifting. Three others have been referred to the police Youth Aid section for their involvement. Police are working to identify the other two.
Business owner Jack Rogers, of Rogers & Rogers plumbing, said the alcohol-fuelled incident had left him with a $2600 repair bill for the window and another $1000 damage to items in the shop…
…Kaitaia police Detective Sergeant Trevor Beatson said the drama began about 7pm last Monday when the group targeted licensed premises. They allegedly drank the stolen alcohol and returned to the main street about 10.30pm and continued their trail of destruction until 2am the following day.
At one hotel they stole the entire “top shelf” and cleared out about 40 bottles of spirits, police said. They also made off with nearly 90 bottles of beer and 80 bottles of mixers.
“Where were the parents of these young people, and what were they thinking letting their girls into town after 10pm on a Monday night?” Mr Beatson said.”
Good question, but where were the police?
“There is a lot of concern in our community about this type of offending. The businesses who were targeted have expressed their outrage to police, at the clear lack of parental control and ability of parents to look after their children.”
Mr Beatson said the community was angry about the damage and their stolen property, but were mostly angry at parents who failed to control their children…”
The real problem is that the adults are incapable of controlling themselves.
Kaitaia has already got a terrible reputation as a place not be once the sun starts to set.
It was a group of adults that hurled racist abuse and bottles at a family of Swiss tourists taking a short stroll into town on evening. The editor of the Northland Age said it was time the street were cleaned up:
“This is not the first time that something approaching mob rule has been experienced in Kaitaia. Some years ago an English visitor, a tank commander no less, abandoned a walk through the town’s streets on a summer’s evening after encountering numbers of young people whose demeanour was so threatening as to raise questions, in his mind at least, regarding his safety.
It is time the streets were cleaned up. “
Some of the locals live in fear and have been forced to leave the town. A reader contacted the Northern Age to say she had been the subject of racial abuse from teenagers in Matthews Road whilst driving her two young grandchildren along the road. A gang of youths had battered her car and hurled insults. She reported the incident to the police but had heard nothing back:
“The woman added that she had thought Kaitaia was a “pretty threatening place” when she arrived in the town 13 years ago, but had now reached the point where she was encouraging her daughter and son-in-law to take their family and leave.“I’m not doing that just because of this incident, but because I don’t think this is going to be a good place to live,” she said.
The change that she believed had taken place over the last 13 years, she added, was that the racist attitudes that had probably always existed were now being openly displayed.”
In November a 70 year old grandmother was beaten to death in her Kaitaia home by an intruder. Before her death Barbara Julian had told her niece that she was thinking about leaving town because people in the street had been frightening her.
The sad truth is that Kaitaia suffers from the same problems that afflict many New Zealand’s socially and economically deprived communities, there are ‘Kaitaias’ all over New Zealand.
Take for example Gisborne, another small town on the mid-east coast of the North Island. You may wish to read our post from 14 April 2010 “Armed Robbery and Drugs, 80% or more smoke weed in Gisborne” and read some of the comments readers made to the Gisborne Herald about their town’s drug problem:
“I am writing with regard to the recent drug bust in Gisborne. I know that probably 80 percent (or more)of the town smoke weed, or think there is nothing wrong with it.
However, you just have to look around to see the effects of the generational abuse of marijuana and other drugs around our area.
Dilapidated homes, no one caring enough to do anything, the kids roaming around with no parents who give a damn, generations of welfare recipients, crime at all levels, car accidents, general apathy relating to just about everything.
The mental health issues, people who fly into rages and can’t handle everyday reality because of constantly being stoned. Kids at school stoned, or not at school at all.
The experience of taking my child to a public toilet where before us a school kid (in uniform) had been inside getting stoned.
Going to town with my young children and walking past carloads of people parked up smoking weed.
The young mother all of 17-years-old in a store so stoned she could barely speak with her passed out baby in her arms . . . no doubt they had just been ‘toking’ in the car, too!
I don’t personally know the people involved in the recent drugs bust no, but I expect they had children who would have been exposed to it. Their drugs would be sold to people who are already dependent, or maybe young people just starting out.
Home detention is a joke. Drug dealing is not OK, no matter how many times people try to justify it!
It’s about time people stood up and realised it, although I do know that in Gizzy it is a big call.
I know that we have other “evils” such as alcohol and tobacco, too, but I personally think that marijuana is one of our biggest problems by far, especially on the coast.“
another reader added:
Well spoken “Angry” regarding marijuana and the lost generation, The Gisborne Herald, March 24.
Most people have absolutely no idea just how much drugs in all forms are affecting a large percentage of our people right here in Gisborne.
If you know what to look for (most don’t) you will certainly see affected people all over the place, in the city, in supermarkets and at gas stations etc. As stated by “Angry” carloads sitting around smoking cannabis and “P” in public.
The saddest thing about this is that this behaviour is being handed down to children big-time.
If a couple have this problem then their four to six children will also and so to their children which collectively add up to about 24 persons and this has been going on for generations.
The money that is able to be made from drugs supports a large number of people in many ways right here in Gisborne.
The people I am talking about number in the hundreds and are so deep in the lifestyle that it is too late for them.
Far too much cheek-turning is going on and if this social tolerance continues, well who knows where it will end up?
But have a look at the lifestyles of the people who live in the ‘Bronx’ because that’s where it’s heading for sure.
Drugs, then large unemployment because of drug habits, followed by violence, along with all forms of abuse and family crises.
That’s where it’s headed.”
But that is just two towns out of the whole of the country! you say, you can’t judge a whole country by that.
But there are too many other places with the same problem for the pattern to ignored.
Places like Huntly, dogged by rampant crime. The small towns of Hawke’s Bay – Napier, Flaxmere and Hastings where in the latter a gang of kids smashed their way through the CBD at 4am. Small villages like Mapua where a brawl over the Easter weekend involving 30 people in the early hours of the morning prompted residents to call for a greater police presence.
There are no signs of it abating either, the once cohesive small towns that used to be the backbone of New Zealand are rapidly falling apart, crime and disorder are out of control, drug and alcohol abuse are rife and the country lacks the resources to stop it.
Also read these links, sent in by a reader:
Murupara – NZ’s wild frontier towns populated with gangsters and bored hoodlums loitering on the streets.
Parents act over school plagued by violence – Parents have been forced to take their children’s education into their own hands at Rangitahi College, Murupara. The school is plagued by drug use, violence and the abuse of teachers and students.
Teachers face rise in class violence (2003) – Education Ministry figures showed 395 stand-downs last year (2002) for attacks on teachers…”teenagers are more prepared to stand up for their rights these days.”
Hundreds of teachers assaulted in NZ schools (2010) – 777 teachers were assaulted at work during 2008/9. 442 of them required ACC funded treatment for their injuries. This included a teacher who was stabbed in the back by a pupil during a lesson but doesn’t include Lois Dear who was battered to death in her classroom.
“Some teachers were too scared to do lunchtime duty alone and had resorted to supervising in pairs.”