July 16, 2014
Marae sit-down could quell gang tension
A Northland community leader is advising the Opotiki community they need to tackle problems with gangs as a problem within the whanau.
Peeni Henare, whoi is standing as Labour Tamaki Makaurau candidate, was part of an effort to calm down gang tensions in Moerewa last year.
A 34-year-old man has been remanded in custody for the murder of 22-year old Mongrel Mob affiliate Joe Collier in Whakatane on Saturday night.
There have been retaliatory attacks on a house connected to Black Power.
Peeni Henare says Moerewa was faced with a similar challenge.
"We had gone down to the marae and talked things over as whanau, as opposed to a community against gangs. We got a heck of a lot of traction and rallied the leaders of those gangs within the township just to get them on board with some of the community activities to make them well aware of the community fears around gangs and some of the violence that was taking place," he says.
Peeni Henare says gang members still live in Moerewa, but the violence and hate have gone.
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