Native Affairs – The Nark

By Peata Melbourne

NARK, or the Nation of Advocates for the Rights of Kids, is an organisation Cherie Kurarangi Sweeney started after her neighbour Serenity Jay Scott was murdered.

"I got seen talking to police outside our house and within a day there was a big 'nark' in big bold black letters in front of my house, on the side of my fence, and I was just like 'oh no'. When you come from a gang whānau that's the last thing you want to be called is a nark," says Sweeney.

Cherie's plan to keep helping marginalised children, including gang kids, is under a dark cloud. In August last year, Cherie collapsed.  She says a tumour the size of a ball is growing in the middle of her brain and it will eventually take her life.

"They did an MRI and then they found that I had a cyst."

She says life is uncertain, but for now, she'll continue her fight for the rights of children.

"This is a really serious problem in my life now. This is something that's possibly going to get the better of me."