National Front 'targeting kids'

02:41, Mar 15 2009

The race relations commissioner has received complaints about the National Front trying to recruit schoolchildren.

Joris de Bres said yesterday that there were signs of a membership drive by the Right-wing group, as the recession took hold.

"There has been increasing activity on the Kapiti Coast. We think they are targeting schoolkids."

The commissioner received complaints after National Front pamphlets were distributed at two Kapiti schools and dropped in letterboxes late last month.

"This sort of thing does tend to increase when there's fertile ground because of an economic downturn. People are under pressure," Mr de Bres said.

Two Kapiti College pupils had been warned for handing out National Front leaflets.

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Principal Tony Kane said there had been no sign of the leaflets since and he did not think an organised campaign was under way. "I just don't think this is a runner for the National Front as far as recruitment goes. These kids aren't even old enough to vote."

Paraparaumu College principal Richard Campbell said a pupil was warned after pinning a leaflet to a noticeboard. But the pupil was not aware of what the National Front was.

According to its website, the National Front stands up for the rights of "Euro-New Zealanders".

Its president, Colin Ansell, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Kapiti police said they knew about the pamphlets, but were not aware of an increase in membership of far-Right groups.

Police spokesman Jon Neilson said belonging to Right-wing groups was not against the law.

"They wouldn't come to our attention unless they committed a crime."

It was difficult to follow trends in race crime, as attacks were often recorded as assaults, he said.

By PAUL EASTON - The Dominion Post