May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

(Source | Waatea News) The organiser of a weekend hui in the Hawkes Bay which brought together previously warring gang members says the government needs to wake up to changes in gang culture if it wants its whanau ora policy to succeed.

Dennis O’Reilly says the wananga at historia Otatara Pa for gang fathers and sons resulted in a peace accord between leaders of the two largest Maori gangs in the region, Black Power and the Mongel Mob.

The accord included an endorsement of whanau ora as a way gang families can address their situation.

On the one hand youve got Judith Collins saying she wont even speak with gang members. On the other hand youve got the Government committing itself to whanau ora and theres no way you can have whanau ora unless youre prepared to deal with these below the line families. It just doesnt make sense otherwise, Mr O’Reilly says.

He says gangs have increasingly looked for ways to avoid confrontation since Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples brought they national leaders together three years ago after of a sharp rise in street incidents.

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