Leader welcomes patch ban as much-needed tool

Date published: May 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Comments

An Eastern Bay Mayor thinks people need to wake up to the issue of gangs to save tourism.

This comes as Todd McClay’s bill banning gang patches and insignia in Government buildings, and now all schools, has passed its second reading in Parliament.

Kawerau’s Malcolm Campbell thinks intimidation by gangs is something people have been complaining about for years, but done nothing about.

He says those who think there is no cause for concern in New Zealand haven’t spent time in an area where gang presence is high.

He believes anyone who says there isn’t a gang problem in this country, is going around with their eyes shut or ‘have their head jammed somewhere where the sun don’t shine’.

Mayor Campbell believes it’s a really bad indictment on this country which is supposed to be a tourist Mecca.

He says it’s a bad look when tourists come here and see these people spitting and intimidating people.

He says it’s not on, but everyone’s been too frightened to say something.

The Mayor believes there is definitely a problem with gang patches in Kawerau schools, and he’s glad this is being addressed.

He says a prime example is what’s happening in Murupara – where they’ve taken the initiative to already ban patches in schools.

He says kids shouldn’t go to school only to be intimidated by gangs – and it’s been happening in Kawerau.

Meanwhile, the bill’s author Todd McClay says Kawerau’s a town that gets a bad rap, as far too often we’re focusing on the negative and the harm gangs do.

He says it’s actually a town full of wonderful people who have a lot of pride in their community and this legislation will have a number of tools they can use.

He says it’s his way of supporting them more.

Source: 1XX FM