GUEST BLOG: Willie Jackson – Lost youth smashing up shops a symptom of a much larger problem

By   /   May 11, 2017  /   10 Comments

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It is not acceptable that hard working Kiwis must face violence and abuse at work and it is not acceptable that our youth are so lost they think smashing up shops for no more than a couple of bucks is a good idea.

This week I was shocked at the level of damage and brazen disregard for people caused by a gang of youths smashing up three shops in my Mangere Bridge neighbourhood.

When I see such naked and pointless aggression used against hard working Kiwi families struggling to do the right thing it troubles me deeply.

These young fellas, after smashing shops up early in the morning and intimidating staff, made off with a paltry $20.  All that violence for $20 bucks? That’s desperation and the desperation makes me pity those young fools who think this is the solution to their desperation.

Some will say that we need to send these young men to prison to teach them a lesson, my experience tells me the only thing prison teaches is how to be a more damaged human being and a far worse criminal.

This attack in my neighbourhood wasn’t the worst this month. Many dairies and alcohol stores have become a target of violence. Too often Indian dairy and bottle shop owners are coming under violent attack by some of our Maori and Pacific Island boys who are targeting tobacco.

I think we can solve this spike in violence in a number of ways.

Firstly, we need far more interaction between Indian shop owners and the Maori and Pacific communities they work in. Let’s sit down together and work through some cultural connections to keep the shop owners in our community feeling safe.

Secondly, we need investment into job training and skills learning. Smashing up three shops for $20 is a symptom of a desperation that is robbing our young men of their hope.

Thirdly, let’s acknowledge that the ever increasing tax on tobacco is now creating more of a black market problem than health solution. We need to invest in allowing more vaping to help nicotine addicts switch to a less lethal product and we need to start considering super vice taxes on the profits of tobacco and alcohol companies so that the corporations within the tobacco and booze industries start paying some of the social cost off their profit margin rather than taxing the poor individual addicted to their products.

It is not acceptable that hard working Kiwis must face violence and abuse at work and it is not acceptable that our youth are so lost they think smashing up shops for no more than a couple of bucks is a good idea.

If any of the young men responsible for this senseless crime wish to do the right thing and turn themselves in but fear the consequences, my marae is open for them to come forward and we’ll walk the path along with them. The first stop on that pathway is an apology to the staff you frightened and intimidated.

 

First published in the Manukau Courier 

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10 Comments

  1. jax says:

    Most of the dairy raids are for cigarettes. Windscreen hustling is a recent phenomena for money for cigarettes. Reported yesterday gang members intimidating and threatening tourists for cigarettes.

    The problem of the anti-smoking brigade is that most of them have never been smokers and don’t understand that the addiction to nicotine is as difficult to overcome as some hard drugs.

    The way to control smokers they believe is to make it so expensive that they will have to stop. We have a situation now where once again only the well off can afford to smoke and will continue to do so no matter what the price is increased to. The poor, mostly the very community that Maori believe they are helping are being further punished for their addiction because they have to pay $30 for a packet of cigarettes which comes out of their miserable wages impoverishing them and their families further.

    Mental health patients are often smokers as are hard drug users who have overcome their drug addiction and alcoholics undergoing treatment however care facilities don’t seem to cater for this ‘socially unacceptable’ activity even though it appears to effectively reduce stress.

    The most most prized possession a soldier had in the last two world wars was cigarettes essential to quell hunger and ease stress.

    We all understand that smoking is not good for anyone nor those around you but an analogy to how smokers have been treated is to increase a bottle of wine to $100 ( $30 day cigarettes ) and to make alcohol unaffordable to all but the well off. What would the consequences be ?

    Dairy owners will continue to bear the violent consequences of the ill conceived Smokefree NZ policy of the Maori Party backed by the govt.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Some very wise words there , mate.

      Particularly on vaping. We see recently National have legalized vaping sales in NZ. Which means people in NZ can now make e – juice , and that e -cig store owners can sell that for cheaper.

      This is probably the only good thing National have done in 9 years in office. But they stopped short , – they should have subsidized a vaping starter kit to last 3-6 months, with subsidy’s on e – juice. The savings on govt health spending would have been immense , and an industry created that actually worked for the better health of New Zealanders in the long run.

  2. bert says:

    “This attack in my neighbourhood wasn’t the worst this month. Many dairies and alcohol stores have become a target of violence. Too often Indian dairy and bottle shop owners are coming under violent attack by some of our Maori and Pacific Island boys who are targeting tobacco.”

    All of which is the result of Nationals policies. Never in my lifetime have I seen such a large increase in crime, in such a small space of time.
    National have not only created this crime spree but in fact, made them occupations!

  3. garibaldi says:

    Well said Willie. We just don’t realize the kind of world these
    ‘children’ exist in. They are 99% sure to be fired up with one or more drug and eager to show off with their peers. A major problem indeed.
    The solution involves huge investment, something which ‘we’ are not at all interested in doing.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      ” The solution involves huge investment, something which ‘we’ are not at all interested in doing.”
      …………………………………………….

      And haven’t been doing ever since Roger Douglas introduced neo liberalism.

      The blame for most of the social breakdown we see now can almost exclusively be linked to the free market , far right ideology we now know as neo liberalism. New Zealand was chosen to be the test case guinea pigs for the far right wing free market experiment.

      When people are poor, they get desperate. When people are poor because of govt ideologically driven policy’s , they get cynical . And finally,… when poor people become both desperate and cynical , they frequently get violent.

      And poor people have just as much right to a decent life as wealthy people.

      But when wealthy people are seen to be entrenching and supporting those very same policy’s that keep people poor ,… they then become targets.

      And its that simple.

  4. mosa says:

    Its amazing to go back to the election campaign of 2008 and listen to Mr Key go on about youth gangs and the ticking time bombs they represented and how he was not going to stand by and allow these ” bombs ” to detonate on his guard.

    Weasel words from a con man who pretended to care about dairy owners and the danger they were in.

    Key and his ” concern ” for the underclass and the youth gangs going off the rails and here we are nine years down the track and things are as bad as ever.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB5fQQsNv_g&list=PL650406EFEE860BAD&index=3

    This idea of National MP Nicky Wagner that the dairies should stop selling tobacco and only allow liquor stores to sell it is typical of this government, that the only answer is shifting the risk from one business to another that already has its hands full dealing with violence and mayhem.

    The whole problem needs a new approach and a commitment to fund the drug and tobacco crisis and Willie is on the right track.

    It was totally reckless that while increasing the price of cigarettes no thought was given to the increase in crime and creation of a ” black market ” for the product and the effect of that for those who sell it.

  5. Kim dandy says:

    The ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude of the Nat government has had a very negative impact on NZ over the past decade – for all ages and stages.
    Where is the ‘positive’ future for NZ’s youth? It is staked against them more so than ever today. The saying ‘ desperate times call for desperate measures’ is very apt at present.
    Even though it can’t ‘be seen’ a NEW GOVERNMENT with a more ‘positive stance’ would make a huge difference to NZ’s moral.
    Which is a start…

  6. Jack Ramaka says:

    National just keep rearranging the deck chairs ?

  7. Shona says:

    I have no sympathy for Indian liquor store owners. There a far too many of these stores selling low grade alcohol. For example in central Whangarei the parks are no longer safe as they are riddled with sizeable groups of alcoholics on a daily basis, off their trolleys on cheap booze always within a few steps of one of these stores. It is predatory poisoning of NZ born citizens. I hope every single one of them goes broke! and buggers off out of NZ. We do not need these people.

  8. john lennon says:

    Kia ora, Willie.. as a fellow resident, I too, am upset. As a New Zealander, I am furious. The jacking up of cigarette and alchol prices has done nothing but bring this situation to a head. It is symptomat
    Same with the ongoing marijauna debacle…
    Effectively, these policies are prohibition.. and we all know how well that turned out.