Train thugs target city events

Improved cheap train services are bringing hordes of youths bent on late-night mayhem into central Auckland from south and west suburbs.

Last Saturday’s Christmas in the Park had the potential to turn ugly as crowds of liquor-swilling thugs headed for the popular family entertainment event, attended by an estimated 100,000 people.

At one point after the event a roaming bunch of louts accosted event organiser Alan Smythe in Grafton before he was offered refuge in an apartment.

Mr Smythe declined to comment, except to say he was unaware of any trouble at the event and had no reports from police or event security of any incidents.

A Sunday newspaper reported police were investigated a woman’s complaint she had been abducted from the event.

One man whose family left Christmas in the Park shortly after 9pm spoke of “thousands” of young people, carrying liquor and drinking, swarming across Grafton Bridge heading for the Auckland Domain venue.

“This was a very big, ugly mob bent on mayhem,” the Devonport man told NBR ONLINE.

“We have been to Christmas in the Park in other years and never seen anything like this before.

“These people were not interested in the entertainment – they were looking for trouble.”

Another witness told NBR ONLINE Auckland’s improved train service was responsible for bringing large numbers of liquor-swilling, trouble-making youths to the central city and public events.

“Large numbers can get into the city easily and cheaply, cause a disturbance and disappear just as quick,” the witness says.

The popular event is sponsored by Coca Cola for what is said to be about $1 million.

Coca Cola Amatil corporate affairs head Suzy Clarkson says the company has had only good feedback, has heard nothing about any unruly incidents and that future sponsorship will not be affected.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about My Tags

Post Comment

12 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

I will always remember the night trains to and from Fremantle quite a few years ago with the drunken scum, thuggery and worse crime that was ruining the trip for tourists and night visitors to the restaurants from Perth. In good typical Aussie no PC bulldust fashion they put an armed cop in every carriage on every trip in both directions and problem ceased damn near overnight. Watching a few scroats getting dragged off in cuffs at each stop made for great pre-dinner entertainment.


You have not been to the Cross in 2012 then?


Send the bill for any damage and theft to Len Brown - its just another one of the 'benefits' of his obsession with public transport.


Nice. Never happen here. The country has become so PC it's not funny!


'Train Thugs', surely you mean just Thugs? This is not a railway or even an affordable transport related problem. This is a problem related to an uncivilised segment of the population. Responsibility lays with those charged with the education / civilisation of the offending barbarians.


Another reason to build more motorways and keep the thugs out. I knew there was a good reason not to waste good money on the Vanguard's dream.....


Right.... Because thugs don't have cars. And would never drink and drive on the motorway. Surely getting the thugs off the motorway and into public transport is your dream situation?


What did that Korean woman MP say when she ran for the Mt Albert electorate?


What a complete and utter load of bull. There are thugs. They behave like thugs. They use whatever means they can. Don't blame a train for the thugs, blame the thugs.



When whatshisname stabbed to death that little shite grafitti-ing the street in Manurewa a few years back, the grafitti problem in that area stopped overnight. That extreme example says a lot about crime and punishment in NZ.


I saw them pouring out of the train station at Khyber Pass. Happy to say I was heading home at the time. Next year it could turn ugly, there was definitely an element there that were out for some "free" entertainment that I hadn't seen before.


As a teenager in Wellington in the 1970s we had to face hordes of drunk thugs beating us up and attacking our girlfriends on the late-night trains from Wellington to Porirua. Finally the cops put a constable in each carriage on the 12.30 train. That didn't work as the thugs merely intimidated them as well. So I finally got a car at 17 and got away from them and got to deliver my girlfriend to the door safely. Auckland is a latecomer to a train service compared to Wellington. You will now go through what we faced 40 years ago.


Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot


Sym Price Change
USD 0.7776 -0.0003 -0.04%
AUD 0.9525 0.0009 0.09%
EUR 0.6329 0.0001 0.02%
GBP 0.4968 0.0004 0.08%
HKD 6.0284 -0.0041 -0.07%
JPY 92.7570 0.2120 0.23%


Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1198.3 8.880 2014-12-18T00:
Oil Brent 59.3 0.110 2014-12-18T00:
Oil Nymex 54.4 -2.250 2014-12-18T00:
Silver Index 15.9 0.006 2014-12-18T00:


Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5518.5 5545.0 5518.5 0.17%
NASDAQ 4752.6 4765.8 4748.4 0.35%
DAX 9901.3 9901.3 9811.1 -0.61%
DJI 17778.0 17818.6 17778.2 0.03%
FTSE 6466.0 6524.5 6466.0 0.89%
HKSE 23158.3 23189.6 22832.2 1.25%
NI225 17511.0 17621.4 17210.0 2.39%