11 Feb 2016

Gang leader's work contract reinstated

8:31 pm on 11 February 2016

A Dunedin gang leader has got back a council gardening contract and the right to drive for work.

The Dunedin City Council suspended the contract with a trust run by Albert Epere, a leader in the Mangu Kaha Black Power gang, in December after he was charged with supplying cannabis and dangerous driving.

The council's trial contract with the trust, Mauri Kohatu Incorporated, is worth $52,500 to carry out weed control and path maintenance around Dunedin.

Mr Epere had been on bail, with a condition he could not drive.

But the Dunedin District Court has granted Mr Epere the right to drive the trust's work vehicle between 7.30am and 6pm on weekdays.

The Dunedin city council has reinstated the contract, and said Mr Epere resumed work on Tuesday.

Council parks and recreation group manager Richard Saunders said the council was giving Mr Epere and his group another chance.

"We've made it very clear that we have standards that we expect to be upheld by all of our contractors and we expect the same from the trust," he said.

"But while these matters are before the court, we will continue with our commitment to work with Mauri Kohatu and to allow their members to undertake this work."

Mr Saunders said the council would decide about the contract after Mr Epere's court cases.