Maori wardens and City Assist ambassadors began walking Hastings CBD yesterday. Already they have "attended an incident".

The ambassadors are part of an initiative to crack down on anti-social behaviour after complaints from retailers and members of the public.

And while it is fantastic to see some action from the Hastings District Council and the Maori wardens, parents and caregivers need to take some responsibility.

It's school holidays - do you know what your children will be doing with themselves today?


Don't let them wander the streets. Make sure you know who they are with and what their plans are for the day.

Some of these kids that hang around town are far too young to be left to their own devices. The photograph we used with the ambassador story on page 3 today shows a boy who wouldn't be any older than 12 pulling the finger at our photographer.

He obviously has no respect for anyone and he shouldn't even be in town on his own. Where are his parents?

Children left alone with nothing to do eventually find their way to trouble.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when the council say they are expecting an increase in graffiti during the school holidays. They had a big clean-up around the Hastings town clock last week and already it's been tagged again.

Retailers also expect more shoplifters.

If these kids had a bit more direction from the home front I'm sure they could put their energy into something useful instead of hanging about town spitting, using foul language and generally making a nuisance of themselves.

So come on mums and dads, take control.