"Because of you my daughter no longer speaks, is withdrawn and is afraid to go anywhere by herself."

That is what one Rotorua mother would say if she could sit down with the girls who left her teenage daughter bloodied and bruised twice in two years.

"I think I would probably be too angry to say much more. It still makes me mad, a year since the last attack. Why did they do this to my daughter - a girl who wouldn't hurt a fly?

"They do it because they think they're tough. They do it because there are no consequences. They think it's all a big joke."


The Rotorua Daily Post has chosen not to identify the school the girl attended.

The Rotorua woman, who wished to remain anonymous, is speaking out after two Rotorua Daily Post stories about recent attacks on students in Western Heights.

"When I read about it I felt so sorry for those girls and I knew I couldn't keep quiet anymore. People need to know what's happening in our community and it needs to stop."

She said these attacks had been happening for years. Her daughter's phone was full of videos showing Rotorua students in uniform viciously punching, kicking and stomping on other students' faces.

"They're ugly. It's yuck. I can't watch them.

"I don't think these girls understand the consequences of their behaviour. There are implications that last long after the physical injuries heal.

"Before the first attack . . . she would talk, have fun and laugh. Now her whole self esteem has gone out the window. It has changed everything."

She said her daughter was so affected after the first attack, in 2015, that she ran away from home.

"I didn't know where she was, I found her once and brought her home, but she ran away again. She started hanging out with the girls who attacked her. Her thinking was that if she were their friend, she wouldn't get hurt again.

"It was an incredibly hard time. There were many sleepless nights, every night I would look out the window wondering if she would be coming home.

"A year later she was attacked again, in broad daylight on a main street. Nobody stopped to help. Afterwards we went to the school and the principal was really good about it, but my daughter wouldn't go back."

She was then sent to another school.

She said the parents of violent teenagers needed to "step up and do something".

"What they're doing is not right. My girl won't go anywhere by herself - that's no way to live. There needs to be consequences, the law needs to change to ensure there are consequences."

Earlier this month, two families spoke out about a series of unprovoked attacks on their daughters, on the same day in Western Heights.

As a result, a community patrol was set up by resident Maylene Meroiti.

The patrol has been running for two weeks and Meroiti said there had not been any problems.

"They know we're out there. We're easily identified and they know we know who they are.

"On any given day there are up to four of us doing the patrols and we are getting children coming up to us to say hi, parents beeping and waving. The response has been positive."

Rotorua police crime prevention manager Inspector Stuart Nightingale said several of the offenders involved in the Western Heights attacks had been dealt with by police and referred to Youth Aid.

He said inquiries were ongoing but he understood all the offenders were young women.

Nightingale said videos of Rotorua students fighting were brought to police attention from time to time.

"To set up a fight where the victim is going to lose, film it, then post it online is embarrassing for the victim and completely unacceptable.

"This behaviour is not limited to Rotorua, it's widespread. It is not glamorous, it's not something to be proud of and when it is brought to the police's attention, we do investigate it."

Nightingale said when the videos contained students in uniform, police approached the school to ensure it was aware of it.

"There is no grey area around whose responsibility this is. What students do in school uniform, whether it's inside or outside school hours, reflects poorly on the school in question."

Nightingale said he understood why parents would want aggressive, bullying youth "charged and thrown into jail" but that was not always possible.

"If there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, we will and we do. But the rules don't always allow for that as we have to take into account the age and maturity of the child."

Speaking generally, John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said there had been a few incidents this year where his students had been accosted by other students on the way to and from school.

"In light of these incidents we have advised students to walk in pairs, stick to main roads, call 111 if they are being threatened and if possible, take a photo of the person threatening them.

"There has always been an element of violence but it appears these assaults are becoming more premeditated. These youth are taking perverse delight in filming these fights and sharing them on social media, which then re-victimises the person who was attacked.

"It is an issue that needs to be addressed by both schools and police. If videos surfaced where these students were attacking others and were identified as John Paul College students, there would be disciplinary action. Schools need to step up."