Mob vi­o­lence mars tangi at ceme­tery

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

A coun­cil worker as­saulted at an af­ter­noon tangi had con­fronted two Mongrel Mob at­ten­dees who were be­lieved to be car­ry­ing firearms.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened about 1pm on Thurs­day at Porirua’s Whenua Tapu Ceme­tery, and the city’s mayor says he’s sad­dened a coun­cil em­ployee was as­saulted.

Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing, but no ar­rests have been made.

A po­lice spokeswoman said the as­sault was mi­nor and the worker, em­ployed by the Porirua City Coun­cil, had no se­ri­ous in­juries. No shots were fired at the tangi, she said

The male vic­tim was in­ter­viewed by po­lice at the scene as well as back at the sta­tion.

‘‘Po­lice are look­ing to speak to those in­volved and are fol­low­ing up ... at this stage there have not been any ar­rests.

‘‘The al­leged of­fend­ers left the scene at the time. It is pos­si­ble charges will be laid, how­ever, po­lice need to speak to all in­volved first.’’

The vic­tim’s son ex­pressed his anger on­line at the sit­u­a­tion. ‘‘Does the Mob not have any re­spect at all any­more for fam­i­lies out­side their own? This sad­dens me so much ... I’m be­gin­ning to feel ashamed of be­ing from Porirua.’’

Coun­cil parks man­ager Olivia Dovey said the vic­tim was hav­ing a quiet day at home, but was in good spir­its.

‘‘We’re ask­ing whether any­thing mean­ing­ful can be done to pre­vent some­thing like this hap­pen­ing in the fu­ture,’’ she said.

The coun­cil staff should be able to do their jobs and re­turn home safely each day. ‘‘That’s our paramount con­cern here.’’ She said the pub­lic was shocked at the in­ci­dent.

‘‘The over­whelm­ing at­ti­tude was we should not tol­er­ate this sort of be­hav­iour in our city, and what our staff at Whenua Tapu do is in­cred­i­bly val­ued.’’

It was not typ­i­cal be­hav­iour at Whenua Tapu, a peace­ful place for peo­ple to come to. Coun­cil staff had called the po­lice to the ceme­tery, she said.

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana said he was sad­dened to hear what hap­pened.

The coun­cil em­ploy­ees worked hard to make the city a safe place, he said.

‘‘Any vi­o­lence to­wards them is not tol­er­ated.’’

Whenua Tapu was a place of re­spect and love, he said.

‘‘Our staff work so hard to make it some­where of re­flec­tion and peace.

‘‘The vast num­ber of peo­ple who at­tend fu­ner­als there or come to pay re­spect to loved ones – treat it as such.’’

The coun­cil has com­mis­sioned an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the coun­cil’s pro­cesses, and to as­sess if they could have han­dled the sit­u­a­tion dif­fer­ently.

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