Grandma dobs in rampaging moko

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By Peter de Graaf

A Kaikohe grandmother has reported her own mokopuna after recognising him in CCTV footage of group of rampaging youths trying to smash their way into a service station.

The grandmother, who can't be named for legal reasons, said she was as upset and fed up as the rest of the Kaikohe community.

"I have no problems in coming forward and naming any one of my mokos who is doing wrong. I get that people are getting really angry and upset about what these young boys are doing and have had enough. So have we," she wrote on a Facebook post dedicated to identifying the offenders in Friday night's crime spree.

"Don't think we as grandparents don't give a hoot. We've tried helping him and it was thrown back in our faces. What do you do when your grandson doesn't want help, doesn't appreciate what's given to him? Don't worry, I've wanted to kick his backside on many occasions but they pull that card, 'I'll ring the cops'. It's just all so frustrating."

It saddened her but she was not ashamed to name her moko. If he wanted to play big-boy games he should be punished as one, she said.

The trouble started on Friday when half a dozen youths entered The Shed liquor store on Marino Court and ran out with 10 boxes of beer. Police quickly tracked them down to a party on nearby Shaw St but with just two officers, and a large number of adults at the party defending the youths, there was little they could do.

Later that night, about 1am, a group of about 20 youths believed to be as young as 11 tried to break into the iwi-owned Mobil service station. CCTV footage shows them repeatedly kicking the doors and throwing rocks at the glass. Their faces were obscured by scarves and hoodies.

Businessman Tony Taylor, who runs the town's community patrol, said they were like "a pack of deranged animals". They did not get in but caused about $1000 of damage.

Most Mid North police were in Paihia and Kerikeri at the time dealing with St Patrick's Day revellers. The district urgently needed more frontline police and the youth justice system needed to take a harder line with underage offenders, Taylor said.

He also called for a law change allowing authorities to impose curfews forcing young people to stay home at night.

Under current law, offenders under 17 knew they could commit crimes without serious consequences. All they had to do was feign remorse at the family group conference and they were free to keep marauding the town.

Taylor said only a small minority of Kaikohe residents - 20 dysfunctional families by his estimate - were responsible for the trouble. Some families were fourth- or fifth-generation beneficiaries; others were transient, moving to Kaikohe to be closer to family members in nearby Ngawha Prison.

Continued below.

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Acting Far North police commander Inspector Al Symonds said 11 staff were on duty across the Mid North until midnight Friday and seven after midnight.

At the time of the attempted Mobil break-in staff were working in Waipapa, Kerikeri, Kawakawa and Oromahoe, but a sergeant and one other officer were in Kaikohe. They reached the service station three minutes after the first 111 call.

One youth, aged 13, had been apprehended and police were confident of finding most, if not all, of the others. They would be held to account, Symonds said.

A further two had been nabbed after the liquor store theft.

Most staff had been deployed to Paihia and Kerikeri on Friday because that was where problems were expected.

Symonds would not comment on whether Northland had enough police but said he was heartened by recent government initiatives to boost police numbers.

Police were already working to recruit new staff from places such as Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Kerikeri and Kohukohu, he said.

"If you want to do something about crime, become a cop. We want people who understand the North and Northland-style policing."

Northland MP and NZ First leader Winston Peters said the first step to cutting crime in Kaikohe was to boost police strength.

He believed much of the youth crime in places such as Kaikohe were "stealing to order", where adults got youth to steal because they were untouchable.

He said the Government had made a mistake by raising the youth justice age last year.

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35 Comments

truekiwi

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03:12 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
good on you gran shows you care hopefully one day your mokopuna will thank you,when he realizes how stupid he was.best of luck.

Just an idea

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03:12 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
The problem is not with what these kids are doing but what they are not doing. Why aren't they at training for rugby, league, boxing, kapa haka, judo - whatever takes their fancy? The community should be asking for things/people to "play" with these boys instead of waiting for them to get in trouble and then ask for more police. Punishing young people for crime will only make them more angry, frustrated, violent, etc. Teach them to use their energy more positively and there will be way better outcomes than family group conferences, jail and even the thing we all want to do and boot them up the backside.

colin

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03:12 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
Grandma you're a legend! Were are the parents in all of this?? At home drinking or out drinking and don't care where their kids are!!!

William

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03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
Well done Nanna!!!! a hell of a pity a few more of these gutless parents don't come forward as those who don't come forward are in effect supporting the behaviour of their little DARLINGS!! it is my opinion that all parents of law breakers under the age of 17 should do the time whatever it may be on behalf of their children's antics, that would certainly bring out some never been seen parenting skills!! for the good.

anton

- New Zealand
03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
A team of liberals from Wellington should be sent in to teach racial pride (narcissism) and past grievances (victimhood) oh that's called school and they've been doing that for 40 years, seems to be working well

Te Kupu

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03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
Ka pai e te Kuia! Why are "law changes" always mentioned when there are plenty of laws already in place to deal with this!!!!

albert

- Howick
03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
make national service compulsory for these youths. that's where you can make training and punishment tough and they can't raise the "i'll call the police" card. make them do crime prevention street patrols - it takes a thief to catch a thief.

The Caveman

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03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
Result - will be a wet bus ticket............ again !!!!

Zeke

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03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
And according to our Government, more police aren't needed in Northland because it's a low-crime area. Yeah right!

5 Eyes

- Bay of Plenty
03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
Forth to fifth generation beneficiaries, this is a joke for any government. If these families are getting a handout in the form of benefits at least we the tax payer can expect the parents to keep control of there children. If they cannot then the benefit should be removed forcing these families to seek jobs in other area's.
Even so, it is disgusting that they have been on the benefit for so long.

Keith

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03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
MMMMMMMM why don't the LEADERS of Iwi in Kaikohe stand up and be counted --- or are they putting in the orders ???

Ellipsis...

- Dunedin
03:11 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
You rock, Granny ! Commonsense and bravery.
These new laws, which have effectively given young people a right to rampage without consequences, should be challenged in court, as nothing less than logic would suggest the outcomes we are seeing are a direct result of that inane Parliamentary decision.

Jonmac

- Northland
03:10 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
Interesting to note that we have this sort of event with few or no police able to attend on a regular basis. In Auckland an offender "believed to be armed" sees multiple police standing around with rifles at the scene even though the offender is known to have left the scene. This occurs on a regular basis from TV and newspaper reports/photos. Winston Peters should be asking some very hard questions of the Police Minister in Parliament about this wasteful deployment of resources I suggest

Don Q

- Ellerslie
03:10 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
It is pointless adding to police numbers when our justice system lets the offenders run free.

wise one

- New Zealand
03:09 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
Sadly, there is a coming tidal wave of these wayward kids. I work for an organisation that works with these type of offenders. One on one they are normally ok, but the pack mentality kicks in very quickly. They may be small physically, but they are violent, hardened, hopeless, and doing adult crimes. Social media glorifies their exploits. Is their a solution? Short of reparenting every single one of them, no.
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