Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles is stepping up to help combat the spate of alcohol-fuelled violence that has claimed the lives of two young men in Paraparaumu.
Sean Strongman-Lintern, 20, was fatally stabbed on Saturday, five weeks after his friend, Izak Millanta, 17, was fatally beaten in the same spot in Kapiti Lights car park.
Coles, brought up in Paraparaumu, and the Wellington Rugby Union have offered do what they can to help stop the violence.
"It is sad times on the coast," Coles said. "I am a Pram boy to the bone, so I am putting my hand up to help out."
He hoped to go to colleges to "send out the message that the violence that is happening is not the way to go, and is causing a lot of tragedy on the coast".
He remembered boozy nights in Paraparaumu, and had seen plenty of fights, but "we never had a fight to kill someone".
"Now it is has escalated. If they have a scrap, they really want to hurt someone. They seem to think drinking and abuse and violence is the way, but it is not."
Former race relations conciliator Gregory Fortuin and motivational speaker Billy Graham have also offered to help Kapiti Coast District Council address the problems around Kapiti Lights.
Dane Coles was regarded as something of a wild child when he first made it into the Hurricanes squad. But this season in particular, having emerged from the shadow of Andrew Hore he was a pivotal member of the Canes' squad. He has grown up and matured, and that shows in his performances.
Sadly Izak Millanta and Sean Strongman-Lintern won't have that chance to grow up and mature. Both have become the victims of mindless, alcohol-fuelled violence. Here's hoping that having someone local such as Dane Coles who has been there, done that and come out the other side as a better person will shake some of these young people, and turn them away from a path towards self-destruction.