Mixed views on grave insignia
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.
Mongrel Mob: Member Dennis Makalio.