May 19, 2021
Beat goes on while iwi cleans up after gang drug scourge
A Ngāti Kahungunu leader says he’s hōhā with his region’s gangs after a police operation in Hawke’s Bay resulted in six arrests and the seizures of $2 million in assets, firearms, drugs and large amounts of cash.
Ngahiwi Tomoana says his rūnanga has been quietly working with gang families, creating opportunities for jobs and training so the children and grandchildren can swap gang colours for hi viz, working with the women, and running wānanga on drug and alcohol abuse.
But what is said at hui level has not translated into noticeable action on the ground, especially when it comes to the lucrative drug trade.
"In our kōhanga reo we've got kids turning up fried because their mums and dads in the house being exposed to P. It's an epidemic. Everyone else is left to pick up the pieces while the beat goes on with Harleys and V8s and everything else. That has to be stopped," Mr Tomoana says.
He says the latest bust shows the gangs are generating more cash than the iwi from predating on their people.
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