Parties not sorry
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.’’