9 May 2014

Gangs want to turn over new leaf

10:13 pm on 9 May 2014

Two Dunedin gangs have asked for a park maintenance contract to help them give up crime.

The appeal was made by the Mangu Kaha-Black Power and Notorious Mongrel Mob gangs to city councillors during annual plan hearings on Thursday.

The gangs have been in conflict and in Dunedin's drug trade for years, but now say are on a journey to leave crime behind.

Black Power's Albert Epere and the Mongrel Mob's Paddy Mason asked for a contract to maintain a small part of Dunedin's green spaces to employ four long-term unemployed members.

They also asked for access to city-controlled pine forests to collect firewood for their families in winter.

Mayor Dave Cull has been working with the gangs and believes they are genuine.

"These are people that are already part of our community and they haven't been interacting with the community in a constructive way in the past."

"They wish to do so now, let's give them a chance to do it in good faith."

Mr Cull said the council would seriously consider the requests.