Dairy owners concerned for safety

Story by Haylee Robbins

Local Tuakau and Pukekohe dairy managers and store owners speak up about the recent spate of vicious robberies last week which left Papakura, Onehunga and Hamilton communities shaken.
For security reasons, these store owners and managers wished to remain anonymous but spoke freely about their concerns.
“Don’t hurt people!” came the anxious cry of one Pukekohe dairy manager. “It’s really scary now,” she said, “we have a family, we have kids, if something happened to my husband or even myself, what would my kids do?”
This sentiment was reiterated by a Tuakau dairy manager who said, “We feel very scared all day.” On Thursday 30 November 2017, a male wearing a hoodie came into the store and stole chocolates. The manager went on to say that it doesn’t matter if the value of the items they steal is $2 or $200—it is demoralising and business is hampered. He suggested that a police officer patrolling the area would help and feels that authorities need to take strict action to discourage would-be robbers.
Remarks about harsher punishment for teenage (underage) offenders was the common sentiment shared by these dairy owners and managers. Another Pukekohe dairy owner feels that this will “make people think twice” before robbing a store and that, in his opinion, perpetrators have more rights than dairy owners. He said that he is happy police are doing a good job but he is concerned for vulnerable dairies as well as the international image of New Zealand and the effect these robberies will have on tourism.
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