Council moves to ban mob insignia on gravestone
Wed, 02 May 2012 10:35p.m.
By Laura Frykberg
A Mongrel Mob member says he will fight a Porirua City Council bid to ban offensive insignia on headstones in cemeteries even if it means going to court.
Dennis Makalio says gangs are being unfairly targeted by the Council, but the Council says the proposal stems from a wider issue.
The remains of Mongrel Mob member James Brown have been at the Whenua Tapu cemetery for seven years.
But under a proposal by the Porirua City Council the gang insignia on his headstone could be removed.
Mongrel Mob members liken that to removing a cross from a Christian's grave.
“It’s no different from other emblems that are on headstones whether you’re a famous rugby player or in the army or navy, you know? I mean that’s our religion,” says Mr Makalio.
The Council's reviewing its cemetery policy to include a ban on offensive headstones - a move triggered by a widow who took offence to gang insignia next to her husband's grave.
But councillor Litea Ah Hoi says the proposal will target any offensive headstones.
“This isn’t about gang bashing, this isn’t about picking on a sector of this community - which in this case is the Mongrel Mob, this issue is much more wider and broader than that,” says Ah Hoi.
At the moment the Council can only control the size and installation of headstones but if the new proposals go ahead, a new clause which says "no individual monument shall cause offence" will change that.
Ten years ago the mob removed a Nazi salute on their graves, but Makalio says removing their emblem is going too far.
“When people go to Urupas and see their loved ones, people are going to comment about people’s things around them but it’s no one else’s business,” says Mr Makalio.
A view the Council will not have heard the last of, as it opens the proposal up to public submissions.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
8/04/2013 12:37:15 p.m.
dont bloody remove my koros headstone mate this is a very offencive move towards his whanau and I.
28/09/2012 3:04:04 a.m.
freedom of rights wrote:
i find this offensive, the lady expects to change a headstone because it offends her, she is expecting this to be removed, what about the respect for the man passed away, his beliefs no matter what they are are his, no-one else should judge,we give respect too all other culture's in our country,and yet our own people have too explain themselves with there beliefs if its offensive don't look, my mother is buried in an urupa up north and there is a mangu kaha headstone with a poem with swearing in it my brother wasnt impressed as he is a pastor, but who are we too judge it obviously meant a lot too him, just as we have ours, we should respect there wish, not be upset they have a headstone like that, people believe they have the power til one day a earthquake and we realize we have no power at all, who are we too judge. let he who has no sin cast the 1st stone, leave judgement for god, the council going ovrboard they should have sent her a letter acknowledging her complaint and filed it away nowhere,it is ridiculous sort out the living leave those gone at peace come on have some descency,
7/09/2012 11:10:36 a.m.
ooh woof poof. poor victims being picked on by the big scary city council.
30/08/2012 5:52:35 a.m.
now come on mow bad enough i had to let my dad go and to see him splashed all over national tv who in there right mind does that where is your respect and your pride? I love that i can come visit him in Whenua Tapu and just sit down and remember him because thats all we have is memories now an you the council is trying to take this away from us i really love my dad and this is what he was and now this is what he has in respect! Is this really how you honour people give some respect and just let my dad rest!!!!!
9/05/2012 1:57:25 p.m.
Porirua Girl - Born and Raised wrote:
Why doesnt the lady who was offended move her Husbands remains and Headstone? She was the one with the problem in the first place.And now James Brown's whanau has to go through this? What about their rights? What about what she has stirred up for his family? Ok there have been negative issues regarding the Mongrel Mob, but their not the cause of all crime in NZ so singling them out and saying they should be shunned and ostracised is a bias and prejudice point of view,saying they don't have a place in a decent society is a joke, you might as well say neither does anyone in New Zealand, that's a pointless argument that steers away from this situation.They removed the Nazi sign, just leave it alone PCC and let the man Rest in Peace.
6/05/2012 7:24:37 p.m.
Suzzanne Baird wrote:
As the sister to James Kopu Brown the headstone which was put on 3news as a family member it was hurtful having to see that on the news. Ok not everyone wants to see a big gang insignia next to their loved ones. But when you go to pay respect to your loved one's you should be there visiting them not worrying about what the next person's headstone looks like or what it has on it. It is sad enough for the family to have lost our Brother, Father, Grandfather, Uncle etc and now he is being plastered all over the news (Headstone).It now feels that even in death our brother cannot rest in peace. I note that Makalio is a well- respected social worker and community leader in Porirua who also holds a Matai title. Well I would like to say that my Brother James Kopu Brown is Tagata Whenua belonging to this land. I hope that the Councillor has taken the time to check Ngati Porou Protocols because for them to remove the Insignia you would have to do another headstone which to us is Tapu to uplift a headstone so think about the families feelings and our protocols before they start doing this and that. Also a lot of the old people from Ngati Porou it is also tapu to take pictures of a Deceased person in the coffin and Headstone. I will also be taking my argument to the City Council as well for the rights of my Brother James Kopu Brown to be left alone.
3/05/2012 1:50:53 p.m.
There has to be commonsense applied in all cases. It is the gangs negative activities that they bring upon themselves that causes offense. Fine to have mention on the headstone being a proud member of the black power but a big in your face insigna is not acceptable. How would they feel if another highly profile offensive group had a headstone next door with a big symbol. Same rules have to apply for all new headstones of all religions, gangs or hate associations.
3/05/2012 11:35:26 a.m.
I am offended that jews get a section of cemetary to themselves. If they can do it, then why not the mob. I don't like the gangs either, but how about an area of the cemetary be sectioned off for them. It would be a win win for all concerned. Its not special treatment because if you don't want them next to your loved ones then this should be a solution. You don't know who the people in the area of your loved one is near. Guaranteed there will be muslems who will want special treatment when they die. If the council can't deal with this issue then what hope is there.
3/05/2012 10:54:40 a.m.
While I am not agreeing that gang insignia should be allowed on gravestones... I would also like to note that Makalio is a well-respected social worker and community leader in Porirua who also holds a matai title.
3/05/2012 9:24:43 a.m.
The Mongrel Mob is a criminal gang and have no place in a decent society. Whenever people treat them as anything else they give them credibility and acceptance. They should be shunned & ostracised by all of us. Some public-spirited citizen or victim of them might visit the urupa/cemetery with a large sledgehammer some night. Grow some nuts NZ!!
Eventing legend Sir Mark Todd was one of a number of sports ...
Now police in one city have reported dramatic results, slash...
Tourists in Christchurch are being kicked out of the interna...
A man is dead and a woman is critically injured after an inc...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.