Mixed views on grave in­signia

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Opin­ion is di­vided about gang in­signia on Porirua’s grave­stones, a week af­ter a KapiMana News story on the sub­ject sparked na­tion­wide de­bate in news­pa­pers and on tele­vi­sion and ra­dio.

Last week we re­ported Porirua City Coun­cil was con­sid­er­ing ban­ning of­fen­sive words and designs from head­stones at Whenua Tapu.

The coun­cil is ask­ing for public feed­back from May 15 till June 18 on what should be con­sid­ered of­fen­sive.

In 2008, a woman had her hus­band’s body dis­in­terred and moved af­ter a Mon­grel Mob mem­ber was buried next to him.

Sup­port for gang in­signia on grave­stones was strong among Kapi- Mana Face­book fol­low­ers.

‘‘End of the day, Mon­grel mob mem­bers are peo­ple too and should have the same rights as any­one else when it comes to the way they are hon­oured,’’ posted Sen­daria John­ston.

‘‘What ex­actly will ‘of­fen­sive’ mean in this pol­icy? In 10 years’ time will re­li­gious sym­bols and text be con­sid­ered of­fen­sive?,’’ Ly­dia Jack­son wrote.

‘‘When I go to re­mem­ber a loved one I don’t worry about the grave next to it.’’

Among the hun­dred- plus com­ments on the ar­ti­cle on­line were many crit­ics of gang images on graves.

‘‘To all the peo­ple who are try­ing to say that gangs like the Mon­grel Mob de­serve

News re­spect, get real!’’ posted ‘‘ Char­lie’’. ‘‘The peo­ple that be­long to these gangs in­tim­i­date, com­mit crimes, deal drugs, and are in­volved in all sorts of il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity.’’

The Porirua Ceme­ter­ies Man­age­ment Plan was ap­proved by the coun­cil last week, pend­ing con­sul­ta­tion.

Mayor Nick Leggett said the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod would be the ap­pro­pri­ate forum to ex­press opin­ions.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit pcc.govt.nz and search ‘‘con­sul­ta­tion’’ from May 15.

public

Photo: FAIR­FAX NZ

Mon­grel Mob: Mem­ber Den­nis Makalio.

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