DCC considering contracts for gangs

Dave Cull.
Dave Cull.
The Dunedin City Council is investigating giving council contracts to Notorious Mongrel Mob and Black Power.

This comes after the once warring gangs made national headlines when they gave a joint submission at annual plan hearings in May, asking councillors to consider giving them a contract to maintain some of the council's green space.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said since then council staff - as part of a wider review of procurement practices - had begun looking at ways council contracts could be awarded to smaller groups, such as the gangs.

This would likely involve breaking up some council contracts into smaller packages, Mr Cull said.

''I hasten to say that it's not envisaged as a hand-out. They didn't come asking for a hand-out, they came asking for work.''

Council staff, along with Te Puni Kokiri, were also helping the group put together a business plan.

He was ''hopeful'' some work would be found, but conscious it would need to be of an appropriate kind.

''Clearly, given their colourful pasts, there are some kinds of work that wouldn't be suitable.

''People might not be comfortable if you, for instance ... said 'go and tend the flower beds at [Otago] Girls' High','' he said.

In looking at the council's procurement policy, staff would need to consider a range of other issues, such as not being seen to favour one group over another and the effect any changes would have on current contract-holders.

''It's a balance.''

Council events and community development manager Rebecca Williams said it was ''too soon'' to tell if and when the gangs might get a contract.

''We are looking at perhaps having a [trial] under the economic development strategy.''

If the trial was successful other small groups might be able to bid for council work.

Speaking at May's hearing, Mangu Kaha (Black Power) leader Albert Epere said its 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.''

''It's not about us; it's about our kids. We have made a path and now we are trying to change it.''

 

Clothes, rags or suits?

The biggest problems this city has to endure was caused by slick people wearing suits - OK, some might have worn sports jackets. 

If "clothes maketh the man", then something's been turned on it's head. 

This group would as part of their employment need the full legal contract that others enjoy who undertake contract work. Why are they different? All I see is a derivitive tribal group wearing scruffy patched garb with attitude.

The real thieves in NZ wear suits, get lighter sentences when caught and can afford high-paid legal representation with the old boy network to protect them.  

What a joke

These gangs have had a past that was not so good - they picked the path they wanted to go down years ago for whatever reasons, they said noi to a normal life and in many cases made others people's life worse. Why did they not join the army, navy or airforce instead of going into a gang?
Now they want back into a so-called normal lifestyle and they want a high profile contract with the DCC. If they want it that badly, they should burn the patches in public and sign a charter with hard and fast consequences if they act up. They may be nice guys, but they should get in line with any other contractors. We have all have had choices in life and our pasts follow us, so why should they be different?

You're joking?

No, no and no again! There are plenty of unemployed people in our city who are surely more deserving than these guys. If our council falls for the story that the gangs have renounced drugs and violence then they're fools. Make the gangs disband and burn their gang patches before they're even considered for council work.

Put this one out to public submission Mr Cull *before*you donate ratepayer money to criminals.

What?

If you look at the culture and history of gangs it is not a pretty story. These members probably have a history of violence or offending? And they would be working in public areas and growing who knows what in the area.

While I am all for rehabilitation, when it comes to public money I want scrutiny and robust discussions/decisions. We Against Violence were from Notorious Mongrel Mob from my recollection - you know the ones that took public Te Puni Kokiri money and bought cannabis? They were convicted of that, weren't they?

This is a questionable idea. Surely there are groups out there that could do a really great job and benefit from some investment - just not ones with gang colours and dubious intent.[Abridged]

Good initiative

This is no different than previous council contracts being awarded to Delta, for example.

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