Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Kate Hawkesby: The effects of being soft on crime are harming NZ, the domino effect is it’s harming guests too

A friend of my nephew was king hit from behind in town by a bouncer several months ago when he was out in Auckland city. He was a visitor from the US, being shown around NZ, being shown some nightlife in Auckland.

He wound up in hospital needing several stitches to his head.

The bouncer didn’t like the look of them, came down some steps after them, followed them a short distance along the street and then punched him in the back of his head as he was walking away.

The whole thing was filmed, there were witnesses, the Police were called and turned up, they were shown the video footage, CCTV footage, they spoke to everyone concerned, they had everything there right in front of them including the culprit.

Did they make an arrest? They did not.

The Police at the time were unsure what to do; they said they needed to ‘think about it’. The next day, many questions were asked, including why no charges had been laid. They’d be ‘following it up in due course’ they said.

Witness statements were made, reports filed and then silence. Crickets chirping. Month after month ticked by, nothing.

Then, the other day, seven whole months after the event, a police spokesperson got in touch with an update. The bouncer had been ‘spoken to’ about the incident. He had ‘taken full responsibility’.

No kidding, he was all over all the footage being caught in the act. He was offered a ‘community panel’ which is ‘an alternative to court.’

Why? Who knows. Who’s on this panel? Again, who knows. Why was he offered it? Why did he get to choose between court or a community panel? Who would know.

I looked up community panels, called Te Piki Oranga. It’s an ‘Iwi Community Panel, where the participant is given the choice of attending a panel hearing or going to Court. Panels are made up of three community people. They are not judges or lawyers. Their job is to decide what should happen as a result of the offence.’

The offender had to ‘meet some outcomes’ the police spokesperson said. What outcomes? Who knows. Who’s checking he meets them? As far as the police were concerned, it’d been ‘dealt with’. They’d handed it over to the community panel. Case closed.

So a violent attack in town that saw a young man, a tourist to our country, wind up in the back of an ambulance and in hospital for hours awaiting stitches, is wrapped up seven months later by a chat with a community panel. No arrests, no charges, no court, no sentence.

Did this offender get to keep their job? We understand yes. So will this person offend again and thump someone else they don’t like the look of one night? I can’t see why not, given the lack of consequences shown this time.

So what are we saying to victims in these scenarios?

We are saying, you may encounter violence in our country, and your complaints won’t be followed up for seven months, at which point the offender will get off scot-free, bar a few unknown ‘outcomes’ they’ve been asked to meet.

Your ambulance trip to hospital, your stitches, your recovery from head injuries and trauma, your terrible experience here, that’s just tough luck.

Will this tourist be back to our shores? He absolutely will not. Will he tell others about his experience here? You betcha.

So when we say the effects of being soft on crime is harming our country, the domino effect is it’s harming guests to our country too, which has far reaching effects that we should be more cognizant of I reckon.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Majority said...

Read Kate’s article in conjunction with Heather’s ( and you’ll understand why so many of us have left, or are planning to leave.

Ray S said...

You made no mention of the offenders ethnicity, pity that.
May have said a lot about the outcome and response of the police.

Martin Hanson said...

Who would have thought that Kate Hawksby would have gone woke? "didn't like the look of them". What's wrong with "him", for heavens sake?

Doug Longmire said...

That is a glaring example of the impotence of our weak and broken policing and "justice" system.
Martin Devlin had a similar experience when an angry vehicle driver tried to run him down. Police called, basically did nothing.
We hear and see, daily, thieves walking out of supermarkets with trolleys full of stolen goods.

And yet - a man in a Christchurch a couple of years ago was pepper sprayed in the face and wrestled to the ground, handcuffed and George Floyd style knee on neck by two police officers. His "crime" - not wearing a mask !!

Flip said...

I would absolutely and most definitely say if the offender had been a white guy he would have been immediately arrested on the spot and pending further enquiries he'd have more than likely been prosecuted. Your friend is actually lucky to be alive, people in similar circumstances have been killed. You must realize when you hit somebody especially from behind with the victim having no idea it's coming, well you're only a fall and a smash of your head in the pavement away from death. Whichever way you slice and dice this incident it's an assault plain and simple and the offender whether maori or white guy must face charges. The next person this guy smashes over could end up dead and no doubt police will be saying it's an isolated instance, yeah right.
I can only assume the police are scared to prosecute maori or alphabet people except in the most extreme cases. Who knows, it sure doesn't look great.