Siege children need help in moving on
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.’’
Chrissy Leggott at the meeting for Kokiri Cres residents at Wesley Community Centre.