The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was brutally attacked and robbed in Porirua has started a petition for the attackers to be charged as adults.
Naomi Popata, mother of the 13-year-old who suffered a broken nose and a cracked jaw after being bashed by a group of teenagers aged 13-17, says her daughter hasn't been the same since the attack.
"She's not as free spirited as she usually is.
"She usually can't wait to get away from me most times and since the attack, the only place she's actually gone [is] to school by herself.
"She won't go outside by herself."
Popata says if youths want to fight like adults, they should face the same charges.
"A lot of the youths that were involved in the attack, they've also attacked other children and nothing has been done.
"For me I wanted to prompt a change for teen attackers.
"It's the victims that have to live with it and these attackers get away with everything."
No one has yet been charged over the assault, but Popata claimed the police know who two of the main offenders are.
"The police are doing all that they can.
"But it's the age that comes into the equation of everything.
"They're gonna be charged under youth laws which basically is a slap on the wrist."
Her petition currently has more than 1100 supporters.
"The community here in Porirua has been absolutely amazing and supportive of everything that I've actually been doing. That's what has made me push for this."
No charges have been laid, police confirmed to the Herald, but declined to comment on Popata's petition.
However, Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Ferguson, officer in charge of CIB: Kapiti Mana, said: "Youth offenders are subject to Youth Justice Legislation, and depending on the age of those involved only certain pathways may be available.
"Police are aware of a group of girls in the Titahi Bay area who have caused some issues within the community, however it is believed this group is not linked with this particular incident."
Police and other agencies were working closely with the group of girls and their families in relation to those issues, he said.
"We are committed to trying to change their behaviour, and in keeping the community safe."