Rival gangs team up for community sausage sizzle

Sausages were on the menu for the Fordlands community this morning, served up for free by rival gang members.

Members of Black Power, Filthy Few, and Mongrel Mob put aside their differences to provide for their community.

The event, organised by Waiariki Whānau Mentoring, saw 350 sausages given away in an effort to fill bellies and spread positivity to those who live in the area.

Waiariki Whānau Mentoring tumuaki ahurei Waata Heathcote said the goal was to "bring life" to the community.

"We want to bring love to the families that require that level of intimacy.

"We're here to serve the community, especially those who are fringe whānau or connected to the gang space."

He said kai was always a good way to bring people together and spread love.

"People are so used to having to pay for food. For us, it's about giving something to the whānau, which may only be small, but it's huge in the context and scope of things.

Waiariki Whānau Mentoring worked with Black Power, Filthy Few and Mongrel Mob members to give out...
Waiariki Whānau Mentoring worked with Black Power, Filthy Few and Mongrel Mob members to give out free sausages in Fordlands. Photo: NZ Herald
"I think people were surprised there was something being given out for free. This is not the only time we do this, we do it in other communities where we hand out kai, give out clothing.

"This is just another day where we support the community."

Heathcote said it was positive to have three gangs working together in one space.

In the long term, the goal for Waiariki Whānau Mentoring was to build relationships and connections within communities which were disconnected, Heathcote said.

"These communities we're dealing with are the most marginalised of the vulnerable populations in this country.

"They're hard to reach and they're high risk. We do have strong relationships when it comes to the gangs, not just with the families but with the leadership, which gives us access to the doors of the homes.

"I will make it clear, we're working with those who are willing to make change. We cannot work with those that don't require the help."

Rotorua Daily Post

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