Who’d Be A Teen In Nelson?

Thinking about emigrating to Nelson, looking for a lifestyle change – somewhere great to raise the kids?

Nelson is often regarded as being a genteel sort of place. It is one of those sort of towns that the arts and crafts set, retired people and the ‘middle classes’ make a bee-line for when emigrating to New Zealand.

Interestingly its  Māori name, Whakatū, means build, raise, or establish and it is twinned with Eureka in California. You’d think it would be an ideal place to emigrate to, somewhere that is perhaps avant-garde and where families would thrive and flourish in an upbeat culture.

According to the well known author Celia Lashlie, who addressed the launch of the town’s Nurturing Resilient Youth initiative last night, some children’s feet are set on the path to crime soon after they are born, and that low self esteem is to blame for them not being able to stay out of prison.

It seems that all is not well in Nelson. It is a town divided in a country often referred to by its residents as “Godzone.” Intended migrants are well advised to take heed of her advice because what applies to Nelson also holds true for many other communities in New Zealand.

“There’s a major split in Nelson – there’s the nice side and the not-so-nice side”

she told the assembled volunteers

As they [the volunteers] carry on with the practical stuff the rest of the community has an obligation to realise that this is not a land of equal opportunity.”

The most important thing adults could do was first admit that the world they would inherit was not perfect, in a large part due to our actions, she said.

“We’ve made the world a hell of a mess and we’re giving it to them. We have got global warming, we have got Iraq, and now Syria. The world is a mess.”

and she gave advice to adults to change their behaviour and attitudes towards youth, hinting at New Zealand’s serious problem with alcohol abuse

We worry about their drinking and we get off our face. Some of it is not about changing their behaviour, it is about changing our behaviour.” Co-operation was also important, she said.

“While we’re scrabbling as adults for our territorial patches, the kids are missing out. You don’t have to like each other, but you have to be professional.”

People needed to decide their own level of involvement, and not volunteer to do things they were not comfortable with, she said.

We are reminded that when we emigrate we take our problems, and those of our children, with us.

Her comments hit home with the readers of today’s Nelson Mail, in which a report about the meeting was published. The public left messages on the paper’s website which included these

No future no direction outside sports for most teenage youth in nelson.

young groups young girls/mums in bare feet pushing prams and young boys with idle hands getting in strife with the law. Thats the way nelson has always been and im sure its getting worse. Sure the parents have to take some responasability but what can you really do when your young and stuck in a no opertunity town with an us and them ingrained attitude with a serious case of insider trading and name dropping when it comes to employment.

Too hard for the sake of your family get out now!

And another who condemns the Kiwi “she’ll be right” laid back attitude

I especially like the point she makes regarding “We worry about their [teenage] drinking and we get off our face.”

How many foolish parents continue to act irresponsibly in front of their children than are puzzled when their children grow up to do the same?

A lot of problems start with parents forgetting what parenting is.

Parenting is NOT raising your child like raising farm animals. Yet I am first to admit my earlier mindset was the kiwi “feed them” and “shelter them” and she’ll be alright mate.

Unfortunately, just feeding and sheltering kids today is so far below what they need it creates problems.

I would like to see more lectures and people presenting on the problems with youth, because it is getting worse, not better.

When someone next asks you why you’re moving to NZ and the words “because of their laid back approach to life” and “it’s a great place to raise kids” start to form in your mouth, pause and think about what you’re really saying.

Other blogs you may find interesting

Terrified Chilean Tourist Punched, Robbed In Nelson (“Three teenagers punched and robbed a terrified Chilean tourist in broad daylight at the Church Steps on Saturday evening in another of the alcohol-fuelled attacks that are blighting Nelson.”)

Rotorua Stabbing “Indicative” Of Youth Issues In City(Community leaders called for the Government to tackle youth and alcohol problems in the city)

NZ A Great Place to Raise Kids? Porirua’s Midnight Express (Blog written about an alarming increase in Children committing violent crime and robberies around New Zealand)

Kaitaia’s Kids’ Drunken Night Of Rampage. Mob Rule (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 half hours one Monday night)

Booze linked to teen crime in Christchurch (15 and 16-year-olds appearing in the Youth Court on rape and sexual-assault charges)

For all blogs about Nelson click here


One thought on “Who’d Be A Teen In Nelson?

  1. From the Nelson Mail –
    “a Nelson supermarket is spending $40,000 a year to counter shop-lifting, which it estimates is costing it hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, should set alarm bells ringing. If these sort of figures can be applied across all the larger supermarkets, and other retailers large and small are added, then the annual shoplifting loss in the region is probably in the millions of dollars. It is no wonder the problem in Nelson is described as being at epidemic proportions.
    Nationally, an estimated $564 million worth of stock is said to go missing each year. However, police only catch people stealing less than 10 per cent of that, and Nelson is no exception…”

    april 19 stuff.co.nz
    “the expectation is that Nelson is such a great place to live that employees should be prepared to trade that against their salaries and wages.”

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