A video of a Hamilton boy apparently drunk at a skate park on his ninth birthday has been removed from YouTube - but not before more than half a million people watched the uncensored footage.
Police yesterday asked Google to remove the clip from YouTube after the man who shot and uploaded the footage, 18-year-old scooter rider Bradley Goudie, refused to take it down.
The video showed a 9-year-old child so drunk on Cody's RTD bourbon drinks that he appeared barely able to stand.
Police said they were "appalled'' at the incident, and even more concerned to see the footage posted on social media.
Mr Goudie said the video was removed by You Tube last night, with a notice saying the content was inappropriate. The video had attracted 576,243 views before it was taken down.
But the video was still freely available online after being copied and shared elsewhere _ which was why Mr Goudie saw no point in removing the footage, as police had requested.
One copy, on a popular hip hop video site, had attracted more than 800,000 views.
"Police did say they wanted it removed, I guess it's up to them. [But] them taking down my version of the video is not going to do anything _ the video is already out there,'' Mr Goudie said.
The frequent skate park user had planned to donate any ad revenue from the video to Youth Service, but he could not do so now it had been removed.
Mr Goudie said he intended to upload the video again _ this time with the boy's face blurred so he could not be identified.
He shot the video at the Fairfield skate park in Hamilton on Tuesday afternoon and called police to report the incident after leaving the park, but said he never heard back.
"So I decided to upload the footage to show that this is what happened; it was serious.''
Mr Goudie posted the clip to highlight the issue, he said.
He had seen children as young as 12 getting drunk all the time and he was outraged by it.
"It was not my intention to put anyone in the spotlight - it was my intention to make the community see what has been happening.''
Hamilton police area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls yesterday said he was grateful the man who shot the video had got in touch. But he said it would have been in the boy's best interests if Mr Goudie had provided the footage to police or Child Youth and Family (CYF) "rather than further victimise the child by publishing the footage''.
Police were considering charges under the new liquor supply laws, and CYF was urgently investigating.
Both the boy's mother, who has custody of the child, and his father, who is separated from the mother, said they were horrified he was given alcohol.
The boy's father initially said he did not want the video taken down because he wanted action to be taken.
But late yesterday he echoed police's call for the video to be removed from YouTube. He said it had "gone too big'' and he was really hurt by some of the comments on the video.
"I don't want my son going through that, you know.''