'Flaxmurder' postings slammed

By ALISTAIR GRAY

A Facebook page for people to share "memories and thoughts" of Flaxmere has upset local leaders who say the page is "spineless and derogatory".
The group, "You know you're in Flaxmere when ... ", has 235 members and describes itself as a place to "write your own memories and thoughts".
Members have posted comments, sharing their recollections of life in the suburb.
One of the comments reads: "Only the police know people's real names.
"Everybody else just calls them by their tag."
Another comment says: "You go to the shops wearing shoes, and everyone stares and is thinking 'f*** you're rich as'."
Other comments discuss aggravated robbery, alcohol abuse, graffiti, poverty and rape.
The page also has a link to a recent news article where police found 14 sheep bound and crammed into a four-door Mazda saloon on the way to an illegal Flaxmere slaughter house.
It also links to an unflattering Uncyclopedia page that describes the suburb as "Flaxmurder".
No information is given as to the creator of the page.
Hastings district councillor and Flaxmere resident Henare O'Keefe said he knew of the page, which he claimed reinforced a negative stereotype.
"A lot of people from Flaxmere would be very defensive.
"We like to think [people commenting] are not from Flaxmere because, if they are, they're not very proud of themselves."
While he admits to being concerned about the content on the page, Mr O'Keefe concedes he is "well used to Flaxmere receiving a few darts from the sideline".
Flaxmere councillor Keriana Poulain describes the page as "spineless and derogatory" and said it concerned her that no information was given to the creator of the page.
"There's no accountability from the person who set up the website.
"It's out and out derogatory.
"You have to wonder about the mindset of the person who set it up.
"You can see nothing but derogatory remarks about a community that are doing their best."
While Flaxmere has its problems, the page was not put into context and only discussed the negative, said Mrs Poulain, meaning the suburb's stereotype continues to perpetuate.
Mrs Poulain said it was encouraging to see at least one person standing up for Flaxmere on the page.
"I don't think anyone wants to touch that website - not anyone that loves their community."
 

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