Peace walk organised by former gang members now Christians

Peace walk

A peace walk in Palmerston North was spearheaded by Hemi Davidson, formerly affiliated with Black Power and Nomads, and Matthew Ngatai Te Moananui, a past member of the Mongrel Mob.

The peace walk was organised in response to escalating gang tensions in Palmerston North.

Davidson and Ngatai Te Moananui’s paths converged at Legacy Church in Palmerston North, a place they credit for their transformation.

“It was the most profound experience I’ve ever had.

“I felt truly accepted like I was part of a family,” said Ngatai Te Moananui.

Davidson, who underwent baptism at the church half a year ago, remarked “the past 18 and a half months have been the most fulfilling and joyous period of my life.”

He left the notorious Mongrel Mob gang in the nineties. He is urging gang leaders, law enforcement and the broader community to collaborate on finding solutions.

“People need to be [held] accountable.

“They’re walking around with blood on their hands.

“There are families mourning loved ones lost to this reckless behaviour.

“It needs to stop,” Jason Hina, said.

Hina spent significant portions of his life incarcerated

He is voicing his concerns over the recent surge in hostilities between rival gangs and is attributing his newfound direction to his faith and church community.

His plea coincides with a peace walk in Palmerston North where hundreds, including former gang members, marched for unity.

Moved by the peace walk, Hina said “Seeing two former gang members walk in unity with their community, promoting love, peace and harmony, is a vision I hope continues.”

The city’s police force is currently managing three separate homicide cases, all while striving to maintain peace between the feuding factions.

Manawatū area commander Inspector Ross Grantham is hopeful of initiating a de-escalation process.

“I’m confident we’re nearing a solution. We just need a suitable venue for discussions.” Grantham believes the gangs themselves are keen on a resolution. “No one wants to witness their friends or family suffer. They’re as eager for a resolution as we are.”

Inspector Grantham is presently overseeing three separate homicide investigations that began in May of this year.


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News category: New Zealand.

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