Black Power leader Albert Epere. Photo by Craig Baxter.
After burying the hatchet, the Notorious Mongrel Mob and
Black Power are keen to take up a council contract and cut some
of Dunedin's grass.
The once warring gangs gave a joint submission at yesterday's
annual plan hearings, asking councillors to consider giving
them a contract to maintain some of the council's green
They also asked for access to City Forests to provide
firewood for families who struggled to stay warm during the
Notorious Mongrel Mob spokesman Paddy Mason addresses the
Dunedin City Council annual plan hearings last night.
The group's message of wanting to move on from its
''colourful'' pasts attracted strong support from councillors,
with Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull urging the two to discuss their
business plan with council staff.
Mangu Kaha (Black Power) leader Albert Epere said the plan
was aimed at helping up to four people into employment.
''We have all had colourful histories and we are just trying
to change things, to be part of the community.''
Given their histories it was ''understandable'' people did
not want to employ them, but the council was in a position to
''It's not about us; it's about our kids. We have made a path
and now we are trying to change it.''
Mr Epere said doing work for the council's Taskforce Green,
after being unemployed for 25 years, made him see the value
of having a job.
Speaking about his former life of crime, he said: ''I don't
do that business [any more].''
Notorious Mongrel Mob spokesman Paddy Mason said Dunedin was
in a ''pretty unique situation'' having the two factions
The ''times had changed'' and both sides were keen to make
Dunedin ''a better place for everyone''.
The submitters were keen to thank the council, particularly
Mr Cull and previous Dunedin mayor Peter Chin, for helping
them move in a new direction.
This started in 2008 when Mr Chin initiated dialogue with
Black Power and this year dialogue also included members of
the Notorious Mongrel Mob.
Mr Cull said it was ''really exciting'' to see the two
groups, which were ''normally at each other's throats'',
He could not say immediately whether they would get the
contract, but said their plan was ''positive'' and urged them
to discuss the idea with council staff.
Cr John Bezett said the submission was ''very good'' and the
plan could be taken ''to the next level'' after discussion
''I think it's a good idea and I'd like to think it will