Whitby residents are being told not to take matters into their own hands after allegations of an attempted abduction in the Porirua suburb.

Instead, a public meeting will be held on Tuesday for locals to voice their concerns.

On Monday a man allegedly tried to snatch a 3-year-old girl who was walking on Exploration Way with her father.

A 32-year-old is facing kidnapping and assault charges but was unable to appear in Porirua District Court yesterday.


Porirua deputy mayor Izzy Ford said anyone who was worried should attend the meeting.

"If you've got any concerns, please come along. Please don't take any matters into your own hands.

"We are working with the police. We are working with government agencies to make sure those roads are safe around the Whitby area and in all areas of Porirua."

Whitby local Sam Nichols said the alleged attack was disturbing.

He said his three small children often play at the end of a cul-de-sac, near a walkway.

"Sometimes they're out of eyesight.

"All you want is a safe neighbourhood and you hear things like that and it makes you think anybody could come up and grab your kids."

Nichols said he would be keeping a closer eye on his children from now on.

Authorities have confirmed the man involved in the alleged abduction attempt was being admitted to a mental health facility at the time.

Pathways Health Chief Executive Sally Pitts-Brown said a Capital and Coast District Health Board clinical team placed the man in the mental health service, which was not a secure environment.

Ford said the public meeting would be held in time for concerns to be collated and voiced at Capital and Coast DHB's monthly meeting in Wellington.

"We want to make the people of Whitby aware that [the meeting] is happening and those in Porirua in general should stay calm."