Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Editorial: Pastor's actions worthy

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Pastor Mark Kahu said he held no grudges, mainly because he knew the young people involved and their backgrounds. Photo / Ben Fraser
Pastor Mark Kahu said he held no grudges, mainly because he knew the young people involved and their backgrounds. Photo / Ben Fraser

In a week of political mud-slinging and grudge holding, how refreshing is it see the attitude of Pastor Mark Kahu in yesterday's Rotorua Daily Post.

The Ngongotaha church leader was attacked by five young people in an unprovoked incident outside the Ngongotaha Youth Centre.

Straight after the fight, the ringleader posted about the fight on Facebook, bragging about what she and her mates had done, naming Mr Kahu.

But despite his bruised and battered face and no doubt a shock to the system, Mr Kahu has shook hands with the youths and has forgiven them. He believes they are remorseful.

The assault was three weeks ago and the youth centre was closed to allow strong feelings to settle down.

The centre opens again today from 5pm.

Mr Kahu said he held no grudges, mainly because he knew the young people involved and their backgrounds.

Mr Kahu said he too was like these youngsters when he was young and his life might have been different if someone had given him a chance.

Mr Kahu said: "I've been on the road where these kids are heading, gone through all the drugs and violence, the alcohol, the crime and just realised, man, if only somebody could have taken me under their wings when I was young and showed me a different way then maybe I wouldn't have gone done the path that I did."

The next step is in these youngster's hands. They have been given a massive second chance and it's up to them to use it.

It's just possible Mr Kahu's actions might light a fire in one of these youngsters' hearts to turn their life around.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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