The ram raids are a symptom of a much deeper malaise


Auckland ram raiders moving on to jewellery store smash-and-grabs

Ram-raiding youths who have plagued Auckland businesses are now favouring jewellery store smash and grabs, with at least two occurring in the city every week.

Police are boosting patrols around the city’s hotspots, but say the nature of the crime means extensive work is required to locate and address offenders’ behaviour.

The recent spate has reportedly shaken confidence in the retail industry, causing more business owners to provide health and safety training courses for their staff.

Police Minister Chris Hipkins has been briefed on what officers are doing to target recidivist offenders and cited what he considers a “good success rate” in holding them to account.

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I appreciate and fully acknowledge seeing children commit organised crime like this is genuinely concerning to the wider community.

But I beg us all to take a deep breath, appreciate the uniqueness of this moment and the extreme pressure on so many people right now.

I’ve said from the beginning that Covid is a triple peaked crisis, the first was the physical impact on physical health, the second was the economic impact and the third was the impact on mental health.

Human Beings are social creatures, the worst punishment is isolation – we’ve all gone through a unique universal experience and it’s damaged many.

We are seeing that mental health pressure exploding everywhere from the Dumb Lives Matter protest on Parliament’s Lawns, to domestic violence, to fights in Supermarkets to a spike in crime, to the increasingly toxic online misogyny,  to the Wellington Middle Class Marxists screaming to send in the military to bash protestors they didn’t like…

…everyone has been impacted mentally by these unprecedented times and the true cost is yet to be felt.

Polling for the Mental Health Foundation found 36 per cent of people surveyed were experiencing poor emotional wellbeing, up from 27 per cent a year ago.

Add to all of this stress the enormous jump in rents and cost of living crisis and you have desperation, anxiety, anger and fear all combining into the current maelstrom.

Of course every effort must be taken to catch every perpetrator and have them dealt appropriately through Youth Court processes or social agencies, but understanding these ram raids are the psychological and economic symptom of a deeper malaise that is running through post-Peak Covid NZ is a far greater starting point in terms of decision making than allowing our fear and anger dictate policing policy that might make things worse.

This is but the beginning of the post traumatic trauma this country is working through, we have to de-escalate and act like adults here, not become a fucking Lynch mob!

We have enough Lynch mobs as it is.

These damaged kids need our help, their criminality is a reflection of a gated neoliberal society who enrich the wealthy while providing crumbs for the poor.

The economic outlook is far more grim than we are admitting and these pressures are only building.

We need alternatives, not more of the same failed conservative social policy knee jerks.

The ramraids are a symptom of a much deeper malaise.


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  1. Yes, true to most what you say, however as far as the public is concerend ram raiding is illegal and at the very least these children need to be arrested, and taken before a judge. That does not mean that they should go to prison, but other solutions to their mental and emotional issues must be found.
    Unless of course we are going to read another article in a few weeks time this time were tehy are ramraiding some other peoples stores and start hurting people. Because, they might not be mentally and emotionally unwell, but just are a bunch of little dipsticks that are on a pathway of crime and they are escalating their criming.
    But maybe we should just stand around, pat them on their heads and give them a clean slate cause ‘mentally ill’. Heck, most of the country is suffering burn out, emotional distressed, anger, etc, yet we don’t all go about ram raiding. Imagine we would, Mad Max is that a world you are looking to live in?

  2. I appreciate that the liberal left do not dig law and order in any form. But they at least see that this will cost this useless government the baubles of power because the public in general are getting increasingly pissed off. So a non solution such as attending to all the woes of society first as a means to put it in the too hard basket but pretend we care, is not going to work.

    We will not fix the woes of society, ever.
    We cannot put the genie back in the bottle after a kid has been raised like an animal and in turn behaves like one.
    No consequences of ones negative actions do not prevent anything negative happening again.
    Hoping we will all just get used to this violence is not going to happen and not a policy worth pursuing.
    Chippy’s used car salesman gig as Police Minister, pretending everything is absolutely kapai and under control, is not doing any more than Poto did. No surprises there however.

    But look at these wonderful young people going about their journey:

    They target higher end stores
    They target smokes and vapes
    They target liquor
    They take hard working peoples cars and destroy them
    They destroy businesses
    They destroy property
    They hurt people and sometimes kill them
    They cost us all an increasingly unaffordable rates of insurance
    They fuck over society
    Its happening now, here and now! Today, everyday.

    They don’t give a shit because all they see is weakness from the system that is supposed to deal with it, namely the police and justice system. And my oh my, don’t they exploit that weakness.

    Consequences, when used, prevent crime. They really do. But there has to be consequences when these arseholes decide to do wrong because they know they are doing wrong. Locking them up works a treat as it at least for a few days takes their ability to do wrong away and keeps some control on them. At least until the same current failing system gets involved!

    Or maybe its just too hard for this government because dont have a clue!

    • They can have policy to support a liquor and fast food store on every corner in NZ, but somehow struggle to support existing NZ health care for tax payers on every corner.

      The problem is, our governments for the last decades have prioritised individual business profits and trickle down of low waged socially poor big and small businesses over social good and the chickens have come home to roost.

      • No, it’s just some are destined to be shitheads. Always have, always will.

        This isn’t some knee jerk reaction to not having possessions through the evils of capitalism, because 95% or more of young people in the same boat don’t do this! Why is that?

        That 95+% don’t wake up late afternoon and say “I’m going to fuck someone over today”. They get on with life and do their best.

        We just need to deal with what we have in front of us to manage this sort of crime in the here and now!

    • Q: Which one of these ramraid kids committed a Murder? Generalizing seems to be the theme surrounding these ramraids and for sure consequences are needed but to characterize the left as soft on crime byes into this neoconservative ‘Act David Seymour’ tough on crime rhetoric for political point scoring. Being sensible on crime would be the appropriate response instead of adopting the last Nat/Sensible Sentencing Trust govt crime policies which saw the increase in prison population and the recruitment of fresh new meat for the gangs. Be careful sometimes what you wish for!

      • They die and mame in their stolen cars. Plenty of evidence for that before and after they commit their crimes.

        We can navel gaze till the cows come home, wringing our hands and thinking it’s our fault for not being like them, but the ramraids, the robberies and the shootings will continue unabated!

  3. “ the economic outlook is far more grim than we are admitting”
    Really? I am not sure we could do a much better job of blasting out negativity if we tried.
    Yes gas prices are still ridiculous but they have fallen around 45 cents a litre for diesel in my neighbourhood in the last two weeks , which I would assume is not unique. I mean even Damien Grant was a lone voice in pointing out the trend in quarterly inflation was negative. Falling house prices are all of a sudden a disaster when we have been screaming for it to happen. I guess that’s because the herald is a property magazine with guest appearances from other writers.

    I am not trying to belittle the challenges but you can’t tell me our media is remotely ‘glass half full’. They thrive on negative

    • House prices falling are a negative for the right wing 65 % of the other polital bloc think it’s a great thing.
      Sensationalism sells and brainwashes welcome the NZ Herald .

  4. Bullshit Martyn….It’s colonisation that is causing this problem…..everyone knows that…..

  5. What’s their future?

    50+ hour weeks of unskilled labour at minimum wages,

    or being paid under minimum wages

    Even those who are ex Asian crime unit NZ police, can leave the NZ police and plant illegal trackers for later convicted murders and interfere with a crime scene, but are not prosecuted by NZ police.

    Crime pays and working for criminals pays more! Why be a police officer, when you can be an immigration officer and part time private detective for future murderers.

    Money Laundering is OK here!

    Drugs are fine too, so many NZ import export businesses that are now smuggling in drugs with their juice and ovens, inflicting massive social harm.

    Corruption and fake drivers licenses are ok, you can even make You tube videos about your crime life in NZ and fight getting deported for years. Don’t worry about all the road deaths and identity frauds – prison is not an option.

    Who can blame the teens ram raiding, when the justice system and social media, makes it clear that crime is OK in NZ.

    Allowing drug smugglers into NZ as well as allowing so many frauds and illegal activity in NZ business dealings, affects the parents of these kids.

    The ram raid youth are just on crime stepping stones, before being recruited into more serious and harmful criminal activities which all seem to be supported with a wink, wink, turn a blind eye, and blame the victim NZ immigration/police/justice system/government management and policies.

  6. Labeen and Natz have allowed wage theft to become the new normal and thus there are less and less entry level prospects for the youth of NZ.

    Bakery owner to pay back $33,800 illegally deducted from worker’s wages

    Concern NZ Bus hired migrant workers without fixing conditions – union

    NZ Police fined $7000 and banned from hiring migrant workers for six months

    22 restaurants, 120 staff – and now a $40,000 fine

    Reporoa holiday park owner hits back over record $680k exploitation fine

    Nearly all Chorus broadband subcontractors breaching labour laws, MBIE says

    Burger King banned from hiring migrant workers, placed on Employment NZ’s stand-down list for year

    Rotorua kebab shop Just Kebabs fined $73,000 for not paying hard-working employee the minimum wage

    Indian restaurant bosses fined for exploitation

    Auckland grocer fined $12,000 for attempted exploitation

    Indian businesses ‘sell’ jobs for visas to students

    Auckland building boss charged with fraud after investigation into illegal labour

    Migrant worker describes ‘modern day slavery’ scam

    Kiwifruit body wants more RSE workers

    Sikh temple to pay $100k for breaching employment laws

    Sushi restaurant owner to pay $30k for exploiting workers$30k-for-exploiting-workers

    Jailed trafficker committed ‘crime against human dignity’'crime-against-human-dignity

    No real attempt by lefties to see this as a crime, and to stop wage theft by deporting the perpetrators if possible and banning them from starting a business in NZ for 10 years which might actually make a dent instead of encouraging it.

    • Am I wrong in saying, SaveNZ, that in almost every example you give it was a Resident New Zealander exploiting migrant workers from their own country of origin. Kiwi born employers for the most part welcome hard working reliable migrant workers and employ them in accordance with all of the relevant rules and regulations.

      • Exactly but why are exploitative migrants who then go to exploit other migrants and break NZ labour laws prioritised as residents by immigration when there are hundreds of thousands of other migrants who are qualified and law abiding but somehow not getting through the system because it’s seems designed to prioritise those who are exploiters?

  7. Is it now the new normal to bus into the CBD, break into a woman’s apartment, rape and steal and then casually exit without their pants back to the North Shore?

    Hey the kids ram raiding are not as bad as the adults it seems….

    NZ is more interested in lobby and woke voices braying for crims rights , than what the statistics have been saying for a long time about where NZ society is being directed to and the bizarre lack of punishment for criminal acts against others in NZ!

    Criminal activity and a blasé attitude to hurting others, physically, sexually and financially has now become socially acceptable and outside punishment to fit the crime – it started with the adults before the kids!

    Meanwhile thought crimes, woman’s fictional character and verbal insults have become the true enemy for the woke cancellation. Violence and crime is fine against woman – in this regard, woke are very similar to the right wingers!

    • Very true . Unfortunately it is not just poverty in the monetary sense but poverty of ambition poverty of love and care poverty of parenting poverty of education.
      The figures released today show a horrific number of young people leaving school with no education certificate. These are the next gang members as that is one of the few ways to earn more than $26 a hour.

  8. Well todays news speaks about people fighting back against would be ram raiders. Good. IF the police don’t do anything, if the state can’t give a fuck about keeping the streets safe for everyone, then vigilante justice will take care of it.

  9. yes there are reasons for the fashionability of ramraiding but having a reason is not an excuse, we often lose the distinction in public debate

  10. This is an easy one to solve!

    Cancel them! See! Problem solved!

    This is This government’s and generations new world belief system! Just cancel shit you don’t like or want to see and hey presto! It no longer exists!! Doh!

  11. Good on them kids for showing some initiative!

    Give the cops something to do considering they don’t bother with following up burglary or street crime because they’re too scared.
    That’s what happens when you have a middle class police force. They don’t like getting their privileged little hands dirty.

  12. The “these kids need our help” attitude is the problem. We’ve been soft on crime for far too long! Most criminal-adjacent young people get so many slaps on the wrist that they see no reason to stop their behavior. Earlier punishments would deter crime!
    And the lockdown-Left are to blame for any after effects of the lockdowns. We didn’t have to go that route. Sweden didn’t and they are doing no worse than any other comparable country

  13. What a load of bollocks

    The entire country has gone through difficult times, and some are using this as an excuse and opportunity to prey on others.

    In wartime scum like these are taken out and summarily shot.

    Not to say that should happen here, but in times of emergency people who prey on others are the lowest of the low

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