The New Plymouth District Council was sent a stronger than normal message to “get off their arses”, “stop pen pushing” and “engage with the youth outside the library.”
Krystal Poutu, 31 presented a passionate speech to the council’s councillors, Mayor Andrew Judd, council staff and a full audience about young people loitering outside the Puke Ariki library in New Plymouth. “People feel scared, going into the library. Why? Because there are youth hanging outside there. The kids are swearing. They’re intimidating. They’re drinking. They’re smoking. It’s shocking” Poutu told Councillors “I look at all of yous today and I am thinking wow. If that was your kids hanging outside of the library id bet you bottom dollar that you would be moving heaven on earth to solve that problem.” “These are our children. They could be your kids. Your grandchildren.” she said.
“What I am asking all of you councillors, is get off your arses, stop sitting behind a desk all day pen pushing, and go down to the library and observe.” The comment left members of the audience gasping in shock, as fellow speaker Michael Riley ‘s mouth widens.
However, despite this, the entire audience supported her comments by the loudest round of applause from the entire council meeting.
Poutu told Insiders NZ that she felt the councillors were not doing enough for the young people loitering outside the library. “I have no doubt that the council and Mayor were shocked. I think it was a wake up call for them, to actually realise whats going on at the library.”
You can view the moment here (just past the 10:00 mark) by clicking here