Gang president enters ring to raise meth awareness

By Dean Nathan

A fight night in Kaitaia saw a Mongrel Mob President face off with a former heavyweight boxer in an effort to raise funds for the development of a community park and help raise awareness around ridding the community of meth.

Former heavyweight boxer Jason Reti taking on the President of the New Zealand Chapter of the Mongrel Mob Shane Hamera.

Reti says, "Having a boxing background I did enjoy the fights.  There were some great fights tonight and much respect to all the people that jumped in the ring.  Win or lose you get my respect. Jumping in it's not easy aye."

A social worker for service provider Open the Curtains, Jason Reti urges the public to have compassion for P users.

"You know it's a really difficult thing.  I have a lot of love and respect for people in the struggle. Instead of judging them, showing a bit of love and kindness goes a long way. If we show them love and education I think we can make good progress with fighting P".

Police officer Rick Whiu and many of his colleagues were also there in support of the event, "I say to everyone that it's not the gangs that are plying P in our communities. We as a people need to rise and fight the methamphetamine problem along with all the social ills."

Ridding the community of P is an issue championed by the Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira and strongly supported by social service provider Open the Curtains to assist those stuck in the P cycle.

Reti says, "We do things a little differently at "Open the Curtains" so as a social worker having a fight night is something different but something the community wanted and you could tell by all the people here that it was definitely a success."

The fifteen thousand dollars raised in the event will go towards the infrastructure for a new community park.