Mob violence mars tangi at cemetery
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.