Statement by Kapiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan 28th March 2019
I'm making an open appeal to the staff at the National Library who manage the public computers accessed by public libraries across the country. Please take immediate steps to block access to gun-focused violent killing games. The recent horrific gun-related violence in Christchurch has created debate on the potential damage of such entertainment culture especially on young minds.
Public access to computers in our libraries is being accessed by school children to log into these games. I understand from our library staff that we cannot block such access to websites ourselves at our local level. We are locked into a national consortium managed by the National Library.
I don't think it's the intention of our public service to provide such access as part of our commitment to the benefits of open education. Primary school children should especially not be able to access such games. At the most, responsibility for such access should be a private decision made through parental guidance.
Following a complaint at one of our libraries our staff have placed notices by all public computers at all our libraries asking that, out of respect, such violent games are not played on them. Staff have also spoken directly to regular users of these games and where possible to the parents. In the meantime staff are seeking a long term national policy decision from the National Library.