Local police and councils around the country are being treated as ''political janitors'' cleaning up the social mess created by cheap alcohol and a low drinking age, a Kapiti district councillor says.
Councillor K. Gurunathan made the comments after a candlelight vigil held earlier tonight at Kapiti Lights for two teens who died in violent clashes.
Izak Millanta, 17, was beaten in the carpark and died in Wellington Hospital five weeks ago and Sean Strongman-Lintern died from a stab wound tothe heart last weekend.
Mr Gurunathan said the vigil was ''just another step in the healing process'' but police and local governments were unable to do anything to raise the drinking age or stop the flood of cheap ''lollywater laced with alcohol.''
''I feel that local government have become political janitors just cleaning up - it's the same for police. It's not just Kapiti and Paraparumu it's the same across the country and it's a bloody disgrace.''
''With the economy spiralling down this is hard on the underclass and this problem is going to get bigger. Disaffected and unemployed, cheap booze and drugs - there you go.''
Mr Gurunathan and Kapiti mayor Jenny Rowan both spoke at the police-patrolled vigil, attended by about 200 people.
''It made people feel empowered. They wanted to be part of something, to express something,'' he said.
Two Porirua men face charges over the deaths and remain in custody for their next appearances.
SONG TRIBUTE FOR IZAK MILLANTA
A young Kapiti musician has released a song to express his grief at losing his friend Izak Millanta.
Ash Graham, 18, released the song called "Sunday We Mourn" to honour Izak and will donate all proceeds to Kapiti Victim Support.
Mr Graham described Izak as the most loyal guy he knew.
"He stood up for any of his friends, had amazing pride for his family. He was a really cool guy," Mr Graham said.
He wrote the song in an attempt to express his grief at losing such a close friend unnecessarily and to remind the world that violence causes many more problems than it solves.
"The victims of violence are not just those that experience violence directly, but everyone around them. It is time it stopped."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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