Hastings is the “big city” in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island. Northwest of the city’s core, the suburb of Flaxmere was built to help ease the housing demand in Hastings, and was envisioned as an upper-middle class area.
But those plans went awry when developers decided to build smaller dwellings on smaller lots, resulting in what has become a low-income area.
It can’t be said with certainty whether Flaxmere’s high ranking on the region’s social deprivation index contributed to the recent burglary at the local Superstrike bowling complex, but the fact that’s difficult to ignore is the ages of the alleged burglars.
One was 19, and has been charged as an adult with burglary. The others have been referred to Police Youth Aid, and are 15, 13 and 11. According to reports, one of the perpetrators threatened a security guard with an iron bar.