Kerre McIvor: Is it time to start working with gangs?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 1 Jun 2021, 12:17PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Kerre McIvor: Is it time to start working with gangs?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 1 Jun 2021, 12:17PM

Further to the cycling chat yesterday, just a follow up.  Reading the Listener and there's a piece in there by Alan Bollard - chair of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission. 

It's a fabulous piece and I do recommend it - hopefully we will have Alan Bollard on the show tomorrow to talk infrastructure, but within the article is a piece that is relevant to the conversation we were having yesterday. 

He said the proposed Northern Pathway Auckland Harbour Bridge cycleway project has been forecast to cost many times its initial capital cost estimate of $67 million.  It will move less than 1% of the bridge traffic, while subsidising some of the wealthiest suburbs in the country. 

It does not, says Alan Bollard, add up. 

But in the meantime, I was interested in Jarrod Gilbert's piece in the Herald applauding Don Brash for choosing to work with a Mongrel Mob trust.  It's a gang education trust which might, said Gilbert, prove to be a game changer in changing the future of these kids with an extremely high risk of becoming the worst sorts of statistics. 

I know we've had these conversations before about gangs - and in fact I was rung by a very irate Louise Hutchinson, PR consultant for the Mongrel Mob Kingdom, saying the gang members were good people and trying to change and for heaven’s sake I was living in the past - they'd been ordered to cease and desist from pack rape ages ago. 

Jarrod Gilbert says it's worth a try, particularly in addressing the issues of family violence and meth addiction.  The flow on effects of those are hugely damaging particularly to the children, so if they can be given alternatives by working with the gangs he says that's worth doing. 

Muldoon famously tried to get alongside the gangs.  He tried to get the leadership to encourage their members into the make-work schemes that were being run at the time, thinking that getting the gangs into work would decrease their anti-social activities. 

That idea went out with all the other Muldoonisms - protectionism, Think Big, when the eighties swept in and since then, or until recently, gangs have been seen as a police issue. 

The arrival of Andrew Coster seems to be heralding in that back to the future, let’s work with them, not against them, approach and thus perhaps Don Brash joining a Mongrel Mob trust is just part of the zeitgeist.