Whangamatā riot: 54-year-old local man charged with inciting disorderly behaviour over livestream

Police in Whangamatā have today arrested a 54-year-old local man and charged him with inciting disorderly behaviour after the riot last night that damaged a local cafe.

A police spokeswoman said this related to live streaming the riot on the Blackies Cafe on social media, which allegedly captured the man inciting disorder in what was already a “challenging” policing environment.

The man will appear later in Waihi District Court in respect of this charge.

“Police ask that people consider the impact that incitement of disorder on social media can have on public order and the safety of our communities,” the spokeswoman said.

Twenty-three people have now been arrested across Whangamatā as a result of the incident and other hotspots of disorder in the Coromandel town.

The Herald understands there are fears the roof is so badly damaged it will have to be replaced.

Bottles were also hurtled down at police by some of those who had mounted the roof.

Mayor Sandra Goudie earlier toldNewstalk ZB the young people involved were nothing but “self-indulgent brats” who had been drinking at home and emerged to cause trouble later when they were “bored”.

Goudie said it is was possible an event for teenagers in future may prevent similar behaviour.

“That is a good way to go, I think, because it does give them something to focus on so they can put their energy into dancing and just cruising around with their peers …

“However, this is at odds with some of the locals where they don’t want those sorts of activities there.”

It became a judgment call and part of that was that they did not want to have anything that could incite violent or aggressive behaviour from these young people, she said.

“Either way, it seems to be fraught with difficulties.”

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