Northland gang leaders set to collaborate with Kelvin Davis

By Raniera Harrison

MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Kelvin Davis is seeking collaborative approaches to address gangs in Northland.

In video obtained by Te Kāea, Davis has met with numerous gang leaders in the North who have signalled their intention to be a part of the solution to the growing gang problem in the region.

"If the gangs are truthful in their intention to end these courses of action, then I am truthful in saying I will help them do so," says Davis.

Media were not invited to a meeting understood to be ten days ago between Davis and up to 40 Northland gang members in Whangarei.  The meeting was set up by an iwi collective to facilitate collaborative solutions for the growing gang problem in the North.

"What are they doing?  What is the government doing?  What collaborative approaches can the government and gangs take to ease the violence in the community?" asks Davis.

Davis' office is currently in discussions with Northland gang leaders to confirm a date for the first marae meeting, scheduled for Ngaiotonga Marae, north-east of Whangārei.

It would see representation from up to six gangs in Northland involved, which according to Davis include the Headhunters, Stormtroopers, Mongrel Mob, Black Power, and other smaller factions.

"How will the government address this?  How will the gangs address this?  How will iwi address this?  How will we all tackle this issue to end these problems, not only in Northland, but nationally?" questions Davis.

Te Kāea understands that numerous gang leaders in Northland have identified that, as part of the problem, it is imperative they are part of the solution.

"This problem doesn't belong to the government alone, and the solutions don't lie in the government alone.  The gangs have a lot to answer for also," Davis adds.

Gang members involved in the meeting with Davis would not comment today.  However, Davis has confirmed channels of communication are still open for further discussion.

"How do we support them to achieve their wants and needs to end gang-related killings and high imprisonment?" says Davis.

The date for the meeting between Davis and gang leaders of the North is yet to be set.