A man who was assaulted after confronting a group of young people on a bus says he will keep calling out troublemakers.
Onerahi man Jade Matthews was on a bus home from work in central Whangārei on Monday afternoon when a group of youths started throwing chewing gum around the bus, towards him and other passengers.
"I was catching the bus home from work and I noticed these things falling around the bus and I didn't really know what they were and then I saw it was gum," he said.
"I got real annoyed and I stood up and I asked the kids to stop throwing stuff."
One of them denied that they were throwing anything, and some members of the group started yelling, Matthews said.
As the group went to get off the bus on Ross St in Onerahi, Matthews asked one of them for an apology.
"One of his mates just started yelling at me, just threatening me, he says he'll eff me up.
"Honestly, I pushed him off the bus because he was getting incredibly aggressive. As I pushed him off the bus, I don't know if I got pushed off or if I tripped, but I went off as well.
"Before I knew it, I was getting hit from everywhere, basically before I landed. They kept hitting me, I tried to push them away."
The youths continued to punch and kick him, Matthews said, but he did not fight back.
"I was just telling them 'Man, I'm not going to fight you back, you're kids' ... Then I was just getting really over it, I could feel my teeth cracking."
Soon after, the group started to break up and walk away, he said.
Matthews started to walk home, in the same direction as the youths, who yelled at him to stop following them.
As soon as he lost sight of them, he called police. Ambulance staff later came to check him over as well.
Matthews said he has asked young people to stop vaping on the bus before, and they have simply stopped.
He would still confront anyone in the future who was doing the wrong thing, he said, and he would "probably" continue to take the bus.
"I've run through it in my head over and over again and I can't see any way where I would do anything differently.
"I don't let people throw things around the bus or hassle people or smoke around kids without saying something at the very least."
Matthews said he caught the bus in south Auckland for years, including at night, without any problems.
"I will admit I wasn't as confrontational then because I was a kid," he added.
A spokesperson for Northland Regional Council, which runs Citylink buses, said incidents like this were "very rare", and referred further inquiries to bus operator Ritchies.
Police said they responded to reports of an assault in Onerahi around 4.38pm on Monday.
"At this stage police have no further lines of inquiry and the matter has been filed," a police spokesperson said.
"Should new information come to light, police are open to reassessing the matter."
The assault follows a recent increase in antisocial behaviour in the Whangārei city centre being reported to City Safe.
Young people were responsible for most of this, Whangārei District Council community safety officer Dave Palmer told the Advocate last month.
Vine St, near the bus stops, was one of the areas where it was a particular issue.
Disorder, fighting, drugs and truancy accounted for many of these reports of anti-social behaviour.
Police encouraged anyone with information to contact police on 105 quoting file number 220705/8953, or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.