Plea to Kāpiti Youth

Mother of two teenagers deplores abuse and destruction on Coast

By the Editor and Paula Burkett

Shortly before the latest tragic death we commissioned another article on Kāpiti’s youth scene by Paula Burkett, a staff writer who has two teenage children. Paula has been worried about the culture of drinking and violence for several years. We are publishing her article in full and it makes sobering reading.

‘What’s going wrong with our young people?

By Paula Burket

Maybe the Kāpiti youth who are out there complaining there is nothing to do could put some effort into organising some community events for themselves, instead of putting all their efforts into causing grief and destruction around the area and using boredom as the excuse.

The thing young people ought to remember is they too in all likelihood will be raising a family here in this town one day, would they find this acceptable behaviour by their children and is this the kind of future they want for their children?

Here’s what I saw on a recent Friday night…

A cold winter Friday night, 10.30pm, and I’m driving to pick up my daughter from a night out — and not 200 metres up the road I see something white lying on the road, as I get closer I realise it is not something it is a young teenage boy lying spread out on the road face down.

After getting over the initial shock and realising he isn’t hurt, well not yet anyway … after a barrage of abuse and attacking my car he tells us he is waiting for someone to drive over him because his life is not worth living anymore and lies back down on the road. Not being able to have that on our conscience we park in front of him with hazard lights on until the Police arrive.=

Following the funeral of Izak Millanta, mid to late afternoon a large group of youths congregated in the car park outside the Waterfront Cafe and Bar (which is also car parking for Raumati Pools where young children and their parents are arriving and leaving to attend  swimming lessons).

Car stereos blaring, consuming alcohol and smashing bottles, urinating under the decks … completely disrespectful, unfortunately there is presently no liquor ban over this car park other than the standard Christmas Day and New Years bans).

Sims Road, Te Horo Beach a place where freedom campers regularly park up in their mobile homes for peace and tranquillity are now being disturbed by Youths racing up and down in their cars after midnight, to the point where they are having to pack up and move elsewhere.

One thing I hear regularly from my children and their friends “there is nothing in Kapiti for young people to do”, and they are right there isn’t a lot, in fact there is less now than when I was a teenager yet the population has grown.

Should we be providing it?, would it be used correctly because it seems to me there is a distinct lack of respect from Youth of today and the majority are ruining it for the minority.

What are the Youth in Kapiti doing to help themselves?, not a lot from what I can see. The amount of buildings and private property I have seen defaced around town since Izak’s death is shocking.

Yes it was terribly sad Izak was killed but that doesn’t give anybody the right to deface other people’s property … there are other ways to pay tribute to a friend without damaging something that doesn’t belong to you, that is just a basic lack of respect.

As I said earlier, maybe young people could put some effort into organising some community events.

They too might want to raise a family here one day.