Stabbed boy's family 'doing it tough'

JOSH FAGAN
Last updated 17:59 19/07/2014

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A boy who was stabbed at school in South Auckland is out of a coma and "improving every day", his family says.

The Mangere community has extended support to the families of the two 11-year-old students involved in the incident at Mangere Bridge's Pacific Christian School on June 24.

A classroom argument resulted in one boy suffering stab wounds to the head. 

He was initially in a coma at Starship children's hospital but has improved to a stable condition and has been moved to a ward, a DHB spokeswoman said.

His family has not left his bedside in that time, Tongan Advisory Council Chair Melino Maka said.

Maka visited the boy last week and said the family were "doing it tough" but were buoyed by his ongoing recovery.

"They're quite happy with his progress. He's improving every day," he said.

Maka said the important thing was for the community to keep assisting the families of both boys.

"Not only the boy in hospital but the other boy and his family... The challenge is seeing what sort of support we can get for the families."

The 11-year-old classmate accused of the stabbing remains in the care of Child, Youth and Family, a police spokeswoman said.

No charges have been laid over the incident and the spokeswoman emphasised the only charges an 11-year-old could face in a New Zealand court were manslaughter and murder.

Members of the Mangere community, including singers, performers and local MPs, will meet next week for a Peace Festival.

Mangere social worker James Papali'i said the festival was organised in response to the incident, and the unrelated stabbing that happened on the same day at nearby Southern Cross Campus.

The first ever Mangere Peace Festival was held in 2003 after Sam Tua was bashed to death at a Mangere bus stop. 

"I sort of hadn't been inspired to do another festival again (until now)," he said. "To hear of this - two in one day - it's just something you never expect to hear."

Papali'i said the festival was designed to be a "healing process" and to highlight the positive aspects of the community.

Maka believed there were some important lessons that needed to be drawn from such violence.

"As a community we need to take issues about our children more seriously. We don't have any control of the outcome of what happened here, but we need to pay special attention to our children in school, at home, at church, to try and stop this from ever happening again."

The Peace Festival is at Mangere Town Centre on Saturday July 26 from 12pm to 3pm.

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