Police investigate 'drunk' nine-year-old

A pixelated screen shot from the video.
A pixelated screen shot from the video.
Police say they are appalled that adults supplied a young boy with alcohol and even more concerned he was re-victimised when footage of his antics was posted on YouTube.

Police went to the Fairfield skate park on Clarkin Road yesterday at 6pm after receiving several calls from concerned members of the public about a drunk nine-year-old boy, said area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls.

A video, posted on youtube last night, shows the intoxicated boy slumped against a wall at the skate park.

Police told a press conference today the boy had drunk eight cans of seven per cent Cody's RTD bourbon and cola and two shots.

By the time police arrived at the park the boy had scootered home where they spoke with his understandably distraught mother, Mr Nicholls said.

He was appalled by the incident and said an investigation was underway into the adults who supplied the boy with alcohol.

"I see the drunken activities of adults who one would think could make good choices in life."

"But to have a vulnerable young boy consuming alcohol is very appalling."

The person shooting the video can be heard saying "what are you doing ?" before getting the reply "he's drinking G, he's allowed".

In the video, the person recording the incident says "he's like eight you dumb b****, he could die" before the boy tries to ride off on his scooter.

The young boy, who said an aunt gave him the alcohol and also revealed his name, later boasted "I do smoke weed" before he becomes agitated and tells the person shooting the video to "f*** off".

A man claiming to be the little boy's brother says "bro, it's all good ... I've been drinking since the age of nine".

Mr Nicholls said the boy was not related to the "aunty" and the man was not his brother. He described the boy's home life as stable and caring, but CYF had been contacted to provide any support the family may need.

He said police were considering charges under the sale of alcohol act, but "the spirit of the legislation around the supplying of alcohol to minors never envisaged an adult supplying alcohol to a 9-year-old child."

"If our actions are draconian, that's where it will rest."

Mr Nicholls said while there was no culpability on the part of the man who posted the footage, he pleaded with him to remove it from YouTube, as the footage violated the privacy of the young, vulnerable boy.

The man who shot and posted the video to YouTube, scooter rider Bradley Goudie, 18, said there was little point to removing the footage now.

"... all of the news media has already exposed it so widely anyway, so there's not really much point in trying to hide the video anymore."

Mr Goudie said he posted the video online because he wanted to highlight the issue.

"It is the first time I've seen anyone so intoxicated," he said.

"Basically I was just concerned about his safety because he was trying to hop on his scooter and ride around the bowl. And alcohol and physical activity do not mix - especially when you're only 9-years-old."

There needed to be security and regulation at skate parks that saw this kind of behaviour, he said.

"I've seen people boosting up and down the pipe with motorbikes, and people smoking drugs and stuff behind the buildings, stuff like that, tagging, all the time," Mr Goudie said.

"Cameras, police visits - anything like that could hopefully help [that] kind of behaviour and maybe decrease it to some certain level."

The question, again?

Confusion, not culture, runing into the cupboard door - I'll drink to that.

Culture is Constant

ej kerr, thanks for that, and no, NZ history has not escaped me; however, there was no need to give a synopsis of it all. You are right when you note that those behaviours are evident 'back then'. Let us put it in perspective though: it was only the latter part of C19, with NZ being annexed to the Crown in 1840, then ruled from NSW for the first 14 years.

The thing is, the presence of culture is a constant: wherever there is a collective of people, there is a culture that develops; however, culture itself is not static and is continually being remade. NZ culture was strongly remade during the latter part of C20, in the wake of WWI, Depression, WWII, then the Cold War era, following this, the recognition of The Treaty and associated social issues - these are still the main influences we see today. This is what has shapes the country we live in TODAY.

Drinking has always largely been a part of our culture. As you pointed out, this was present in colonial times. This also has a connection with why it was that people came to NZ in C19: freedom from religion was a main attraction; thus, and although British culture was 'imported', there we significant facets of it that were not. Consequently, NZ and AUS have similar drinking cultures that are quite unique in the world. Granted, a presence of this, in some form, can be traced back to the formation (or colonisation) of both countries, but it does not give us an EXCUSE to continue and encourage it. Domestic violence and child abuse were also prevalent (although not so obvious) a century or so ago, many missionaries treated 'their own' and the people they were helping/converting/etc. appallingly. Is that fact that it happened 'then', meaning it is part of our 'culture', an excuse to continue?

When we know better, we do better.

 

Kulcha is old

ajs says: NZ culture was formed, in C20,with the ideals of 'Rugby, Racing, & Beer' Oh dear, perhaps search and read the pages of Papers Past to discern the news stories and court sentences for same behaviours (cultural...) in the good old swilling, gambling and sportive times of nineteenth century colonial settlement.

and that is just the point

Hype.O.Thermia, you have got it in one. That was my exact point. Not every NZr drinks to excess, in fact most don't; however the culture we have applauds such open displays of drinking.

Sure, in Germany, people drink to excess, but not in the same way, or in the same vein. NZ culture was formed, in C20, with the ideals of 'Rugby, Racing, & Beer', and this has only changed by degrees. A quick summary of the alcohol related incidents/crimes/accidents/violence in New Zealand, and a comparison with other western countries, makes interesting reading - we have a problem. Regardless of any 'measuring up' againts other countries, we still have a problem.

Drinking attitudes

Ajs, regarding your allegation that "Germany [has] alcohol available 24/7, just because it is available, does not mean that the individual has to drink until absolutely blotto" I can't help wondering where you've been and who you've discussed this with. I know NZers who never drink alcohol, they don't want to.  The majority of NZers drink some alcohol and of those who drink at all, many get a bit tipsy once in a while where "tipsy" is far less than fighting drunk, car-crashing drunk or puking drunk. And once in a while, in this context, I define as frequency between once a month and once a year.  What is more, most of them got disastrously  messily drunk when they were young and don't want to repeat the experiment, it's an unattractive part of growing up like pimples.  

The vast majority of NZers do not  "drink until absolutely blotto".  On the other hand if you talk with a few Germans you'll find that in your country of ideal attitudes there are some people who "drink until absolutely blotto", just like Kiwis.  I think where we go wrong is that some sectors of society applaud prolonged adolescence - messy drunkenness.  Others - the various groups I chose to mix with over several decades of moderate drinking - would help someone who got drunk, keep them away from the car keys, get them home or provide a place to sleep it off. But they did not treat the drunk person as if he/she had done something clever or funny and repeated behaviour of that kind tended to result in the person not being included because she/he was not prepared to "act civilized".  

 

Drunkenness not the 'problem'

Hi Trev, what I said was that you cannot legislate social problems, then I clearly stated that drunkenness is not a social problem in and of itself; so no, that is no what I said at all.

You are very correct in what you say with regard pubs and the like, but the crux of this issue is this: pubs would not stay open late and supermarkets would not sell alcohol if there was no call for it. The call for this comes from consumers, hence the push for sales and opening hours. In saying that, and as I pointed out in my earlier example of Germany that have alcohol available 24/7, just because it is available, does not mean that the individual has to drink until absolutely blotto. We do it, because it is part of NZ culture that is being passed on to kids, who then do it.

Consider domestic violence. The violence itself is not the issue, however nasty and destructive it may be - punish the perpetrator and they more often than not re-offend. The issue, or social problem, is men's attitudes toward women (or, in reverse) and, in fact, other human beings in general. These attitudes are causative in a series of bad decisions that lead to domestic violence. The social problem is these attitudes that are all-too common - even in the face of copious additions to legislation, beginning with the Crimes Act amendments in the mid-1980s, it still happens.

Binge drinking is the same: what are the attitudes of many NZrs that make it OK to drink to excess, drink-drive, fight when drunk, supply kids with booze, and encourage (or, in many social situations, practically force) others to attain the same levels of intoxication? When sports stars get into a skirmish, where are they? Generally in a bar, or on the street after a 'night 'out'. Why are we so abhorrent when drunk kids make it into the news? Kids reflect the attitudes of adult society.

Are we powerless?

ajs: You say we cannot legislate against "drunkeness", however, over recent years we have legislated a softly, softly approach to anything relating to booze. Drunks are easily "diverted" - a wet bus ticket. Drunk in public is not a crime? Pubs are now permitted to stay open all hours. Supermarkets can price-cut booze to very low cost. Alcopop booze appears designed to get people drunk fast at low cost? There is no anti-booze TV advertising campaign as per smoking. Booze businesses can sponsor sport - but not cigarette makers. The foreign owned big breweries have both National and Labour parties well in their pockets. So how do you change a booze culture to something more civilized?  

Yes, Us

Hype.O.Thermia, thanks for quoting me, but you missed the entire point. 'Drunkenness' is not a social problem, but the attitudes that lead to drinking to excess are. 'Doing something' is not a physical 'activity', like giving to charity once a year and thinking you've made a big difference. How did women gain more status within a white, male, patriarchal society? Among others, feminists bought issues to the attention of society and, within many areas, attitudes changed. Germany has alcohol available, even hard liquor, at places such as news-stands. Alcohol is available 24 hours a day, every day; yet, they do not have a drinking problem.

Why? because excess drinking is shunned within German society. In good ol' NZ, it is celebrated. This is the exact point of the we. You cannot legislate social change. How do kids learn to binge drink? Because of the social attitudes that we pass down. And you know what? if everyone was "well-meaning socially-concerned", we would be a lot better off, we would know our neighbours, watch out for each other, and stop being so damn disconnected. What should we do? Start actively shunning undesirable traits, instead of driving past and simply judging those 'undesirables' who apparently exhibit them. Stop 'burying our collective heads in the sand' and pretending that 'someone else' is going to shape our society. We all live in it, take some responsibility for the welfare of everyone.

Who, me?

Drunkenness "is a social problem ... The only ones that can make it happen are 'we' - every single one of 'we'."  I am uneasy when the well-meaning socially-concerned proclaim that something is OUR problem and each of US should do, ah, um, something (unspecified) to solve it.  Locally we should "support" the Fubar Stadium - by saying enthusiastic words about it even if we don't believe them?  By going to events that do not interest us?  We should prevent child abuse - including those of us who never abused a child, or have no close contact with children, or are not aware of any mistreated children in our extended family, friends, neighbourhood?  Please - what should we do, call children to us in the street and examine them for bruises, interrogate them about how life is treating them?  Risky for us, unsettling at best for them.  Now drunkenness is something else dumped upon my shoulders since we (including me, surely?) should "address this issue".

None of these people who call for mass activism ever specify how we should go about achieving the goals.  Just once, please!  Ajs, you're the most recent of the we-callers, how about responding with a How-To For Dummies like me? 

Online video

Really? Which ways are these? This sort of things - teens drinking, fighting, dying - happen continuously in this country and are increasing in frequency at an alarming rate. The youth culture, coupled with increasing technology, is advancing in ways that we just cannot get to grips with. The old methods do not work anymore. If you can provide some of these effective 'ways', then that would be nice. In the meantime, Mr Goudie clearly did what he thought he could and what would be effective - looks like he was right - and he should be applauded for not just walking away and forgetting about it like so many people do.

Incidentally, the event was already in a public domain - a skate-park - before he posted it. Perhaps an international shaming will wake up NZ adults to this apalling behaviour. WE all accept it, because WE see it, walk by, tut-tut to ourselves when reading about it, but don't DO anything about it. It is a social problem: not a police issue, not a parents issue, and not a call for more laws, but a call for behavioural change from within our society. The only ones that can make it happen are 'WE' - every single one of 'WE'. Mr Goudie did something. To every person who disagrees with what he did, the question is: what have YOU done to address this issue? Because it is not new.

 

Out of control youth

Cloudy: The reason we have out of control youth is that they are not disciplined at home or at school. In the 60s and 70s teachers had straps and canes and weren't afraid to use them.

Did we play up? Hell no- we knew what would happen if we did. Now that New Zealand has been turned into a nanny state, kids play on this and respect no one.

Corporal punishment in schools and compulsory military training is what is missing. These things teach disipline and respect, two things the youth of today are sadly lacking. 

9-yr-old drunk

Sad event, life as always from the beginning of history, bandwaggoning, teetotaling. Police jump at an opportunity for stronger intervention options that impact on the majority of NZers who are responsible people. One off incident! - overreaction pumped up by the media.

To be applauded

The young man who took that video is to be applauded for putting it up, here was a young man trying to help this kid, not laughing or putting him down but I feel concerned even worried, to say the nine year old is being revictimized is stupid, too late for that maybe getting a look at how pathetic he is acting might make him change his ways?

He is just a nine year old in a bad environment with others a product of how they have learnt to live. To me this highlights the society we live in where 18 year olds in general don't gave enough brain cells to think about supplying alcohol to minors, hence we have out of control youth. As a country we really need to look at how we can improve the way we think and act with alcohol - it really is out of control.

Every reason to remove the online video

Mr Goudie if you want to highlight issues for young people having been supplied alcohol by supposedly responsible adults, there are better ways of doing that than posting an online video. To say that there is no point in removing the video because it is already in the public domain is not a reason. This is a 9 year old kid and while there are questions to be answered about who was looking out for him during this whole sorry episode, posting a video exposing him on a public domain suggests a lack of consequential thinking on your part. The involvement of the police is absolutely the right thing to happen, but that could happen with out an online video.

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