The world's biggest Mongrel Mob organisation, the Mongrel Mob Kingdom, say they will abandon their use of Nazi symbolism.
In the wake of Friday’s massacre in Christchurch, The Kingdom's president Paito Fatu confirmed to Te Ao that his organisation will no longer use the term “Seig Heil”, which has been the rallying cry of the Mob for 50 years.
In German, the phrase “Seig Heil” translates as “hail victory” and was adopted as one of the rallying cries and salutes of the German National Socialist Party, or Nazi regime.
Fatu says the Mob will have a new rallying cry, “I like our brothers and sisters to acknowledge each other by saying ‘Mongrel Mob’.
The Kingdom is the fastest growing chapter in New Zealand, with more than four hundred members locally and two hundred from around the world including Canada, Russia, France and the Solomon Islands.
Fatu claims the stance is part of a transition to a new cause, away from violent crime, eliminating domestic violence and drug abuse and focusing on empowering whānau, women and children.
“It’s about a big mind shift. It’s about getting out there and doing things productively, constructively and positive to the best of our ability. Doing what everyone else is doing and trying to do a little bit better.”
The Mongrel Mob adopted symbols that were associated with hate and anti-establishment sentiment in the early 1960s. The association with Adolf Hitler and his crimes drew widespread condemnation.
Fatu says that was the goal.
“I look at this era as a healing time. When we look back at how we used it, it was rebelling against the system. Anything that the system saw was evil and bad, we [adopted] some of those and that was just our way of [giving] the system the finger.”
21-year-old Mongrel Mob member, Te Taiaha Whero Rehua or “Doug Dog Taupō”, was born into the Taupō chapter.
While he welcomes the change, he admits it has taken some getting used to.
“Coming away from Seig Heil, I guess I’ve adapted to it over time. My whole background has always been ‘Seig F**king Heil’ since birth. That’s all I ever knew. My old man was a life member of the Mongrel Mob and he’s recently died- three years ago so it hasn’t been easy.”
“I didn’t really look at it in-depth with Hitler and that sort of stuff. I just grew up knowing it was Mongrel Mob. But it’s positive as. It’s come away from “f**k the society” and all that sort of stuff.”
Fatu, who is no longer part of the national organisation, says most regional chapters are not ready to follow suit but he will not attempt to sway their thoughts.
“When we do engage with other mob chapters, when they come up to me most of them will say ‘Mongrel Mob’. Hopefully, this kōrero here may resonate to some of our rangatira perhaps outside to our extended families to think about things.”