Siege chil­dren need help in mov­ing on

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

The chil­dren of Kokiri Cres are too scared to play out­side.

At a meet­ing last week Kokiri Cres res­i­dents talked about life af­ter the events that have plagued their street.

Liz McMil­lan-Makalio from Wai­tan­girua’s Wes­ley Com­mu­nity Ac­tion or­gan­ised the meet­ing to get peo­ple talk­ing about how they wanted to move for­ward from the seige and sub­se­quent fire.

‘‘Peo­ple are wor­ried about their chil­dren,’’ she said.

‘‘Kids have seen peo­ple with guns out­side their houses and now they aren’t play­ing out­side any more.’’

Chrissy Leg­gott said the streets had been quiet since the seige last month.

Leg­gott lives at the end of Kokiri Cres and said her 7-yearold daugh­ter was trau­ma­tised af­ter see­ing po­lice of­fi­cers with guns.

‘‘She keeps get­ting me to check the door is locked be­cause she doesn’t want the bad man with the gun get­ting in.’’

Leg­gott said she would like to see po­lice come back to the neigh­bour­hood to talk to chil­dren who had been fright­ened.

‘‘It would be good to show the kids they don’t need to be scared of po­lice.’’

She said her daugh­ter has been so fright­ened she now hides when she sees a po­lice car.

Fur­ther along the street a fam­ily liv­ing next to the house where Pita Tekira killed him­self want to move out.

Mata and her hus­band, Tai, have lived in Kokiri Cres for eight years, but are too scared to stay there any longer.

Mata said her chil­dren had stopped leav­ing the house be­cause they were so fright­ened.

‘‘My son comes home from school then doesn’t go out­side again,’’ she said.

The fam­ily are meet­ing with Hous­ing new Zealand to seek a house in an­other Porirua street.

McMil­lan-Makalio said more than a dozen peo­ple met to share food and talk to each other.

She hoped the meet­ing had helped to get mes­sages of sup­port to peo­ple who needed it.

‘‘It gives me an op­por­tu­nity to let peo­ple know we are here to help in the future,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s not just a one-off thing. We will keep help­ing.’’

PHOTO: FAIRFAX

Chrissy Leg­gott at the meet­ing for Kokiri Cres res­i­dents at Wes­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

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