Anti-social behaviour discussed

Mataura community leaders are working on a solution to the problems that have plagued the Mataura Library and Service Centre lately.

Last month, Gore District Council library manager Emma Sherie reduced the hours the centre was open because of the anti-social behaviour of young people using the library.

An emergency meeting held last week was well attended by community leaders.

Mataura ward councillor Neville Phillips was there. Those present decided a meeting would be held with the young people and their parents to try to understand the behaviour, Cr Phillips said.

"We have got to ask the kids ... the children are bored, they’ve got nothing to do probably, so we’ve got to get them those solutions, find solutions to help them out.

"Some of the solutions [raised at the emergency meeting] included trying to find a space of their own and that will be my job.

"I’ll work away on that, trying to find a space for them to learn things."

He intended to report back to the community on how the search for a youth space was tracking in the next fortnight.

Anti-social behaviour was not an isolated problem, Cr Phillips said.

"It’s not just in Mataura, it’s happening throughout the whole of the country.

"I think we just need to harden up ourselves and find these young children and give them a better life."

A national Education Review Office report released last week found a quarter of principals had seen pupils harm others or damage or steal property at least every day.

For now the library will continue to open from 10am to 2.30pm weekdays. — Additional reporting RNZ