Jogger in racist firework attack

By Kristin Macfarlane of the Daily Post, Matthew Martin -
A Rotorua jogger has been shocked at an attack where youths threw a firework at her and called her a racist name. Photo / supplied
A Rotorua jogger has been shocked at an attack where youths threw a firework at her and called her a racist name. Photo / supplied

A woman says she was shocked by an attack that saw a group of youths throw a firework at her from their car while she was jogging and called her a racist name.

The youths yelled "blackie" as they hurled the firework at her.

It missed her and she said she was grateful she, rather than a child or an elderly person, had been the target but it was upsetting.

The woman, who didn't want to be identified, said she was running along Old Quarry Rd in Rotorua's Western Heights suburb when an old model stationwagon filled with teenage boys went by. The occupants verbally abused her and a lit firework, which she described as small but loud, whizzed past, narrowly missing her.

"I just heard something and I saw the firework whizz past me," she said. "They wound down the window and yelled and threw it out.

"I'm actually glad that it wasn't anyone else. I've often got my kids running with me."

The Selwyn Heights resident said she didn't call police because she didn't see the car's number plate .

She described the youths, who looked about 16 or 17 and were Caucasian, as "immature".

Overall, Guy Fawkes celebrations throughout the region went off without any major incidents.

Rotorua Fire Service officer Geoff Carter said staff made 13 callouts from Saturday afternoon through to yesterday morning with most being small scrub, hedge or grass fires that were easily contained.


Firefighters in Taupo and Whakatane reported a quiet Saturday night and overall, emergency services staff were impressed with the behaviour shown by the many celebrating Guy Fawkes.

A Taupo Fire Service spokesman said staff did not attend a single fireworks-related incident in the district.

"Obviously everyone was very well behaved," he said.

Senior Sergeant Mark van Kempen of the Rotorua police said staff were pleased with how well people behaved during the weekend.

"It was very quiet. There were no incidents reported around fireworks or the stock cars at all."

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