The indulgence of good-family-and-good-school teenagers in serious drug dealing in their homes in Auckland's should be a warning to all parents, schools and ultimately society and those who govern on our behalf.

No matter how well parents and schools prepare their children, or perceive they have prepared their children, there is always the chance of a teen running off the rails.

So it apparently was with Elias Smith and Nick Barker who at the time of their offending started were pupils at Albany Senior High, rated 10 on the decile scale used to classify school communities — Decile 1 being seriously deprived, 10 meaning somewhat affluent.

But, where are the questions so often posed when serious crime hits the court: Bad upbringing? Where were the parents? What were they doing?


It may sound or feel harsh to be asking such questions of parents who may otherwise have been seen as beyond reproach.

Sentencing Smith to two years' jail, Judge Russell Collins said: "It is an absolutely chilling thought that you would put your parents through that."

Simple fact is that criminals like Elias Smith are driven by an enormous sense of self-entitlement and selfishness, which at the end of the day is a motive that can materialise regardless of the level of society they take place.

How did it get to this stage, and how is it that one Decile 10 teen can have such greed?

The secrecy and privacy of a more well-off arm of society can be stomached to a degree, but if mankind is to learn from itself then this is not one of those times.