The worst and the best

Last updated 11:09 13/06/2014

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Opinion

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What has this country become when a 13-year-old boy acts in a way that he is charged with the murder?

This boy - still a child - is accused of stabbing 57-year-old Auckland dairy owner Arun Kumar to death in his business. A 12-year-old boy with him has been charged with assault with intent to rob.

It was 7.30am on Tuesday. These boys should have been at home, getting ready for school or maybe out for a run, using up some energy.

Instead they ended up becoming "poster boys" of juvenile lawlessness.

How can our justice system deal appropriately with this sort of behaviour in a way that might lead to a positive outcome? It seems almost impossible.

Fortunately not all our children will grow into a life of crime like that.

Just 24 hours after Mr Kumar's family was robbed of their father, a young man in Blenheim showed why we should have faith in our young people.

Angus Pauley was on his way to school on Wednesday morning when he saw a girl standing in the Taylor River, looking confused and in distress.

He jumped out of the car and ran to help her.

Angus showed he has a clear head, not given to stupid or needless heroics. Even in his rush to rescue the girl, he realised he needed help.

Rather than jump right in to the river to grab the girl as she floated past, he knew to think of his own safety or two people might be drowned. Winemaker Jeremy McKenzie arrived in perfect time to give the support needed for the rescue. It was a risk, but they calculated they were on the positive side of the ledger.

Their efforts deserve all the praise we can offer. They surely saved the girl's life and saved her family from an immeasurable loss.

Angus' own parents were in momentary panic when he disappeared down the river, but he has given them even more reason to be proud.

He has already been shoulder-tapped as a leader; he is head prefect at Marlborough Boys' College. He has shown all the skills and attributes we want in our young men.

He is the sort of poster boy this country needs.

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- The Marlborough Express

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