Roast Busters petition delivered to Parliament

Jessie Hume, with 14-month-old Ames Hitchcock-Hume, and the 110,000-strong petition, calling for action over the Roast Busters scandal. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Jessie Hume, with 14-month-old Ames Hitchcock-Hume, and the 110,000-strong petition, calling for action over the Roast Busters scandal. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Auckland mother Jessie Hume has handed her 111,000-strong petition demanding stronger action over the Roast Busters scandal to Parliament this afternoon.

Ms Hume, who presented the petition to National MP Louise Upston, said it had been a significant day for all Kiwis affected by sexual violence.

"This situation has reached a critical point and is nothing less than a national health crisis - 110,000 people have signed this petition and we feel the Government has an obligation to respond.''

Green Party member Jan Logie, who worked with Ms Hume on the petition, was among a group of MPs who met the 36-year-old on the steps of Parliament.

Ms Hume's message was clear: "We can stop rape. We would like the Government to ensure the prosecution of those involved in the serial gang rape club Roast Busters.''

But this was also about a wider issue, she said.

"The Government has severely stripped back funding to sexual violence services to the point where many groups are unable to operate.

"We reckon every New Zealander has the right to access specialised sexual violence support with a problem of such epic proportions.

"There are changes needed at a governmental, judicial, police and community level in order to stop this from happening anymore. This is not just a one-off incident,'' Ms Hume said.

The Roast Busters are a group of young men, based in West Auckland, who boasted in videos and comments posted on social media of their sexual exploits with underage girls, some of them drunk.

Police have said they have insufficient evidence to lay charges.

Ms Upston congratulated Ms Hume, who handed in the petition accompanied by her 14-month old son Ames.

"I shall take it on your behalf, and behalf of over 111,000 people who signed the petition.''

Ms Logie said the number of signatories, gained in about two weeks, showed people expected immediate change.

"It breaks my heart that this has happened, because we've known for a really long time that the system isn't working.

"I was working in the sector 20 years ago, and we knew the problems then and we know them now and we still know the answers - there just needs to be political will to deliver on them,'' she said.

Labour's Sue Moroney said Ms Hume had given a voice to ``so many New Zealanders who have wanted to express their anger at the culture that was displayed by this very, very tragic incident.''

The petition:

Dear Prime Minister Key,

I ask that you please find justice for the many young women who were victimised by "Roast Busters''.

It's entirely unacceptable that our society would let gang rapists go free for years while multiple young women have approached the police seeking justice for their rapes.

I ask that you find justice for these young women who will now have to live with the horrific memories of the actions of the ``Roast Busters''. I also ask that you ensure proper protocols are in place so nothing so horrific can happen again, including ensuring the ``Roast Busters'' are charged and there are proper support services for people who have been raped or assaulted, especially as they cannot turn to the police for support.

- APNZ

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