Drunken Navy Men Terrorise Nelson Household

Posted by on Nov 04, 2010 | 2 Comments

ScreenHunter_32 Nov. 04 10.37

A Nelson mother huddled with her teenage children and a young friend in their home as they were terrorised by drunken Navy sailors from Auckland trying to smash their way in.

A frightened Felicity Hurst and son Amani, 17, daughter Shanti, 19, and Shanti’s friend Eochaii Julian, 23, braced themselves against the doors of the lounge to try to keep the shouting invaders out.

Ms Hurst told the Herald she thought the drunken men might get in through the locked front door, after smashing its glass panels.

“I was pretty sure they were going to get in. And I just couldn’t wait for the police to get there.”

Police arrived within minutes and rounded up nine sailors nearby, including two who stand accused of damaging the family’s home.

The Royal New Zealand Navy has apologised to the family for the incident, saying it is not immune to the country’s binge-drinking culture.

The motivation for the sailors’ actions is unclear. The two accused men have personally apologised to the family, and repairs to the house and a car worth about $700 have been paid for.

The pair are still to face up to the military justice system.

Ms Hurst said she had accepted their apologies and wanted to eventually meet them face to face.

“The reason I have brought it to the [public] attention is it’s just about looking at a culture that enables our young people to drink to that extent, and where’s that duty of care?”

– NZ Herald


  1. Jack says:

    Isn’t this a Devonport website? But this happened in Nelson? Or is it’s selection symptomatic of a bias against certain sectors of the Devonport community? Do you search the news for offences committed by other Devonport residents and list them as well?

    The Art by the Sea “Debacle” as referenced above is currently before a civil court, by my understanding. And if you want to address the “Drink to get Drunk” culture by pointing the finger at the Navy, I would suggest spending a day in the public gallery at the North Shore District Court. This is a nationwide problem, not just a Navy problem.

    Your first question is a fair one, but the answers to both your questions are “No” and “No.” The timing of the Nelson event immediately after the Art By The Sea incident, coupled with the Devonport’s community’s ongoing exposure to the drunken behaviour of Naval personnel certainly made it relevant in this instance.

    In relation to your second question, I think you will find if you read our related pieces on the issue of drunken behaviour in Devonport, that The Speculator does not single out the Navy at all. In fact, we point out that the Navy probably does more to educate its charges on the danger of drinking than many parents do, so it is ironic that it is then singled out as the problem. – Ed

  2. ruth says:

    Thanks for the excellent coverage of the Art by the Sea debacle. It would be great if the Navy could set some example to support responsible drinking and counter the Drink-to-get-Drunk culture. What steps is the Navy taking to control the drinking behaviour of their personnel? What are the consequences for the smash up of Art By the Sea?
    Who pays? It will be interesting to watch the story unfold. A case-study right in our midst.

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