July 18, 2014
National gang leaders now peacemakers
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says senior gang leaders are in Opotiki trying to calm down the situation after the weekend killing of a Mongrel Mob affiliate.
A 34-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 22-year-old Joe Collier.
Dr Sharples says he established a trust which has been working under the radar to bring peace between the gangs and find work and other opportunities for members.
Its attention is now focused on the eastern Bay of Plenty town.
"Past and current leaders at a national level are very active in this waka moemoea in visiting the areas for peace, because what people don't realise is the different branches of the gangs are virtually independent and have their own local behaviour and their own local culture," Dr Sharples says.
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