Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Auckland teen threatened over sober driving service

Tyler Broughton (second from right) with friends working for his landscaping business. Photo / Supplied
Tyler Broughton (second from right) with friends working for his landscaping business. Photo / Supplied

An Auckland teenager who set up a sober driving service for Hibiscus Coast residents has been told via anonymous text if he doesn't stop the service his life could be at risk.

Police are believed to be investigating the threats to Tyler Broughton, 17, who last month started a sober driving and food delivery service in the community north of Auckland.

Young entrepreneur launches sober driving and delivery service

The service -- which offered to pick up and drop off residents on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and deliver fast food to people's homes -- had proved extremely popular, with the teen's phone and Facebook being inundated by requests.

But one week ago Mr Broughton received two threatening messages from an unknown number.

One message read: "The committee of combined concerned teen parents has decided tonight is your last night of your illegal taxi service, sober driver service and driver service. You are putting our teens lives in danger and risking them getting fined more than you! They are also losing income from their part time jobs. You are not a community hero You are a punk ass little criminal!"

It went on to say those behind the message had been paying to get Mr Broughton and his team followed.

"We pay people to randomly follow you and your team. Can you trust all your friends and workers? Short answer No.

"We know your vehicles for example and we know where the cars park permanently and occasionally."

The anonymous sender then suggested they would pay $15,000 to someone who would physically harm Mr Broughton.

"They start with you first. Your car and your legs Then one by one, you will never see it coming!"

After receiving the messages Mr Broughton said he went to a local police station to report the incident. Police are believed to be investigating.

Mr Broughton, who is on his restricted licence, said he had previously received messages from people warning him to get an appropriate licence before offering the service. He said getting the relevant licence was a top priority for him however he had not yet had the chance to do so.

But these new messages have him fearing for his safety and the safety of his family.

"They know where I had been driving and where I live and that sort of stuff so that just made me really concerned. It could just be threats but until I actually know who it is I don't want to take any risks."

Mr Broughton announced his intention to start the driving service on Facebook just over a month ago.

The young man -- who already runs a successful landscaping business, called Hibiscus Coast Odd Jobs, which employs 10 young people -- said he was inspired by the idea to sober drive people while talking to a friend about how difficult it is for young people to get home after a night out.

"All my friends always struggle to get home from parties, I could tell they were starting to make the wrong decisions, so I gave up my Friday and Saturday nights to make sure they all got home from parties on whatever nights they needed to," he said.

"For me, I'm just stopping my friends from drink driving."

After receiving the messages, the teen took to Facebook to advise community members he would no longer be offering the service.

His post has garnered over 500 likes and 100 messages from residents, the majority of whom said they were disappointed to hear about what had happened.

One person wrote: "Keep going, don't let anyone stand in your way mate. Find out where it's coming from and deal with it."

Another wrote: "Pity those threatening you can't channel this energy in the right direction and get off their arse and not be keyboard warriors!"

- NZ Herald

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