Kāwhia community airs concerns

Kāwhia Community Hall was packed with locals who came together to move forward after the attack on the town's Constable. The Mayor of Ōtorohanga, Dale Williams says this was an ideal forum for community members to voice their concerns and any other issues they had in regards to the attack on the officer and the community itself.

19-year-old Jackie Maikuku and his father, Jack Maikuku are in custody as a result of the incident and yesterday, a 21-year-old was released from charges relating to the issue.

Reports state that Griffin was assaulted by five men and some members of the community who spoke to Te Kāea who wish to remain anonymous, say they are scared of the Maikuku family. However there are also different views from other locals as well as the Maikuku family.

Jasmine Teei who claimed to be at the scene when the incident took place says the 19-year-old had his arms raised and told the officer he had no weapons on him but the officer used his taser and pepper spray on Maikuku.

Jackie Maikuku's mother, Lisa Panapa was also present at the incident on January 11, and at the hui she spoke and apologised to the people of Kāwhia.  She also said there is strong community support for the Police service despite the ups and downs they are experiencing at the moment.

While the community seems to be on the path to addressing some of the issues that need to be dealt with, the case and the assault of Constable Perry Griffin is now before the court.

Reporter: Harata Brown.