Par­ties not sorry

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

An in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Porirua deputy mayor Liz Kelly at a re­cent Tawa Col­lege bas­ket­ball match is un­likely to re­sult in apolo­gies from ei­ther side.

Ms Kelly was in­volved in a heated ar­gu­ment with the cap­tain of the Tawa girls’ team, Mikyla Henry, fol­low­ing a game at the Tawa Col­lege gym on June 20. Ms Kelly says she spoke to Mikyla for what she said was ‘‘ a dis­re­spect­ful attitude and com­ments’’ to­wards the team’s coach, but de­nies ‘‘go­ing off’’.

She re­fuses to apol­o­gise, say­ing she was ver­bally taunted as she tried to speak to Mikyla, who has now ‘‘run to the me­dia’’ be­cause the al­ter­ca­tion was with some­one with a po­si­tion of re­spon­si­bil­ity in the com­mu­nity. Ms Kelly says the rest of the bas­ket­ball team have apol­o­gised to her for Mikyla’s ac­tions.

Mikyla’s mother, Donna An­der­son, how­ever, says Ms Kelly’s ac­tions were ‘‘dis­gust­ing’’.

‘‘I wasn’t there but she did this in front of dozens of peo­ple, go­ing off at my daugh­ter. She kept go­ing on and on.’’

The episode was up­set­ting for Mikyla’s 9-year-old sis­ter Paige, who cried through­out. Ms An­der­son laid a com­plaint with Tawa Col­lege and says her mo­ti­va­tion for call­ing KapiMana News was ‘‘to let peo­ple to know what sort of per­son this is’’.

‘‘You can’t treat kids like that, I don’t care what the sit­u­a­tion was.’’

Mikyla’s friend Alexis Chap­pel says Ms Kelly kicked the ar­gu­ment off.

‘‘She just came up to Mikyla and started shout­ing. When we went out­side, this lady was call­ing Mikyla im­ma­ture and other nasty things. Mikyla told her ‘just go away’ but she kept go­ing. Her lit­tle sis­ter was re­ally cry­ing.’’

Ms Kelly paints a dif­fer­ent pic­ture, how­ever.

‘‘Things did be­come a bit heated, voices were raised, but I got in­volved be­cause Mikyla was bad-mouthing the coach. I was not go­ing to be talked to like that by a 17-year-old. She was laugh­ing be­cause she knew I was the deputy mayor of Porirua.

‘‘ These kids were re­ally bad­mouthing me and I didn’t re­act, what they’re say­ing is an ex­ag­ger­a­tion.’’

Ms Kelly says it has not stopped her want­ing to watch her daugh­ters play bas­ket­ball.

It’s not the first time Ms Kelly has made sim­i­lar head­lines, with a mi­nor in­ci­dent es­ca­lat­ing into ‘‘road rage’’ an­tics in March last year.

Tawa Col­lege prin­ci­pal Mur­ray Lu­cas is hopeful of get­ting Mikyla, her mother and Ms Kelly to­gether this week to sort it out. He con­firmed there had been a ‘‘sit­u­a­tion’’ with the coach­ing set-up of the bas­ket­ball team, which had now been re­solved.

‘‘What we’ve got is two dif­fer­ent points of view. I want both par­ties to meet with a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, tell their sides of the story, and we go from there.’’

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