Youth Crime, Meth and Firearms: New Zealand’s Perfect Storm

New Zealand has the highest rate of crystal meth use in the world
New Zealand has the highest rate of crystal meth use in the world

Yesterday we wrote about lax gun control in New Zealand and exposure of Kiwi children to a firearms culture.

Today we’re writing about the perfect storm: a 12 year old boy high on methamphetamine robbing a shop with a rifle, all for a handful of sweets. This single incident highlights a host of social issues plaguing New Zealand: grinding social disadvantage, youth crime, out of control drug use and firearms possession.

The robbery took place in the North Road dairy in Kaitaia at 8.35 pm on Sunday, the offender and a 15 year old accomplice were traced to an address in Matthews Ave. When police arrived the 12 year old spat at an officer, punched him in the face and kicked him in the mouth. Police suspect the kids were under the influence of methamphetamine (crystal meth).

Firearm offences are very much in the NZ news at present, with the NZ Police Association saying officers are dealing with a gun related incident almost every day. Obtaining guns is “ridiculously easy” in New Zealand.

To make matters worse, police have no idea how many firearms are in legal circulation in New Zealand, because (like the US) New Zealand doesn’t licence individual weapons, just the owners. Ironically, Kiwi police are not permitted to carry weapons themselves yet regularly come up against people who do:

Obtaining guns ‘ridiculously easy’ for criminals (NZ Herald 5 Oct 2015)

Firearms have become “ridiculously easy” for offenders to get their hands on and police are being confronted almost daily by gun-wielding criminals, the Police Association says.

The union is calling for an official police inquiry into where the guns are coming from and says the issue has been badly neglected by the top brass.

The call comes days after police were shot at as they pursued a pair of alleged offenders in West Auckland, and follows a spate of incidents where other police were fired on.

There have also been numerous instances in which firearms were aimed at the public, including a Hamilton diary owner who wrestled a gun from a would-be-robber during a dramatic encounter in August, and an armed holdup of a Mangere service station in September in which the offender fired a shot.

“It has become ridiculously easy for… criminals to get firearms. The evidence is apparent as police are stumbling across firearms and becoming involved in armed incidents on a daily basis,” said association president Greg O’Connor.

“Contrary to police assurances that armed incidents are ‘rare’, hardly a week goes by that police are not coming into contact with illegal firearms in the hands of offenders…

If you’re planning to emigrate to New Zealand because you think it hasn’t much of a crime problem and that kids can be kids for longer, you may wish to reconsider your decision and look elsewhere.


‘Kids round here have nothing to do’ – Iwi leader hits out after boy, 12, tried to rob dairy with gun

You may also be interested in these other articles about Kaitaia

New Zealand’s toughest town

Elderly woman found murdered in Kaitaia another beaten in Tauranga

French tourists thought they were going to die

Kaitaia kids drunken night of rampage

6 thoughts on “Youth Crime, Meth and Firearms: New Zealand’s Perfect Storm

    Sikhs fear for safety after Takanini attacks
    Last updated 16:48, December 1 2015
    …The Takanini resident has recorded six incidents this year in which he and family members have been robbed and assaulted.

    Bedi believes more needs to be done to stop young attackers after a recent assault left him out of work for two weeks with an injured hand.

    Police prevention manager Inspector Mark Rowbottomn says “youth-driven” crime is a big problem in South Auckland and he’s calling on people in the community to report all incidents.
    Anna Loren
    Police prevention manager Inspector Mark Rowbottomn says “youth-driven” crime is a big problem in South Auckland and he’s calling on people in the community to report all incidents.

    He also believes the teenagers are targeting Indians because they think they’re easy targets.

    …”I do feel they’re targeting Indians … they think we won’t call the police. They think we won’t fight back.”

    Naturally, the police have “apprehended” youths (not the same as punishment / jailing / coming face to face with their victims to own up, be positively identified or be given a talking to). The wet bus tickets must certainly have hurt those young people when they were slapped on the wrist.

    After all, they might be future (gang) leaders, action movie heroes or sports stars … success begins with the small steps /sarcasm

    • Another quality Whangarei character – couldn’t confirm the comments (on youtube and in the northern advocate) that they were one and same person.

      Renee Rook

      ‘A Whangarei repeat shoplifter has told a judge she steals from shops as it gives her a buzz and the thefts were covered by insurance.

      But Renee Rook’s explanation for her sixth shoplifting conviction earned her a rebuke from the judge and a nine-week jail term that will keep her in prison during the busy Christmas shopping period.’

      ‘In the lead-up to Christmas in previous years the region has had gangs of professional shoplifters from Auckland drive up north to steal items, particularly from small retail outlets in central Whangarei, using a number of tactics such as hiding goods in prams.’

      ‘Rook said she would not steal from residential properties but she would from retail outlets because she didn’t really care as businesses have insurance.

      She went to Farmers department store in central Whangarei where CCTV cameras showed her placing a child’s tutu valued at $19 down her trousers and a cardigan worth $24 in her hooded sweatshirt.’

      Obviously Renee didn’t have any issue with the change given in this case – unlike the ‘lady’ in the Video

  2. Doesn’t help that it seems a lot of kiwis blame Asians for bring the meth in, and raw materials to make it. This is just what I’ve read from others ranting online so I can’t say for sure how many kiwis think Asians are the problem, but judging how foreigners are blamed for pretty much EVERYTHING wrong here it wouldn’t surprise me if It’s a large majority.

  3. Kids these days are so advanced … child soldiers in the making? Besides that is also the fun questions of where they got the alcohol and whose house they holed up in.

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