DCC suspends gang leader's contract

Sue Bidrose
Sue Bidrose

The Dunedin City Council has suspended its contract with a Black Power leader after his arrest for dangerous driving.

Chief executive Sue Bidrose said today the suspension related to alleged offending by Albert Epere that the council was made aware of on Monday.

Epere is understood to be facing driving charges in Dunedin District Court after allegedly racing on State Highway One north of Dunedin on Sunday. 

Court documents show Epere is also due to appear in the court tomorrow on charges of possessing cannabis for supply and another drug-related offence.

Dr Bidrose said the $52,500 contract was suspended on Monday, pending the outcome of a court process and an internal investigation.

The contract, signed in October, would have seen Mauri Kohatu Incorporated undertaking weed control, litter control and path maintenance at a range of sites across Dunedin on a trial basis until June next year.

"The council has a commitment to social procurement, but it is a two-way street," Dr Bidrose said.

"We want to support people who are doing their bit to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but this requires them to meet certain standards and we will be looking at this with regard to these projects."

The initiative came about after Mangu Kaha (Black Power) members made a submission to last year's Annual Plan asking the council to consider giving them contracts to maintain some of its green space.

No further comment would be made while this issue was before the courts.



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