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Rally backs Manurewa community

Published: 6:43AM Saturday June 14, 2008 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

A neighbourhood rally has taken place in support of the family of murdered liquor store owner Navtej Singh.

Seven people have been charged in relation to the 30-year-old's shooting at his south Auckland liquor store last Saturday.

Around 1000 members of the Randwick Park community were out on the streets on Friday night in a bid to show a positive side to their neighbourhood.

Neighbour Leonard Bloksberg organised the event for locals to get together and show what they say is the true face of the neighbourhood.

Manukau City councillor Daniel Newman took part in the walk and says the suburbs of Manurewa often get a raw deal.

Daniel Newman says most people work hard, get on with their neighbours and look after their families.

Newman says unfortunately the community gets a bad reputation following violent events, but it is a safe place. He says the criminal element makes up a very small part of the community.

A short prayer was recited and candles were placed on the ground in Singh's memory during the rally. Donations collected will be put into a trust for Singh's wife and three daughters.

And Newman says Singh's family won't be on their own and the council will do everything they can to help. He says the community will continue to provide support to Singh's widow and family.

Manurewa community board member Kanwaljit Bakshi says people are angry about the fatal robbery and the latest bashing. He is urging people to start looking out for each other. Bakshi says one way the community can get through this is by getting closer to their neighbours and joining community watch groups.

Bakshi doesn't believe Manurewa is a bad place to live, despite the recent high profile crimes.

He says the only way to deal with serious crime in the area is to have more police. He says the recent violence may not have happened if the area had more police support. And he says most of the crime could be prevented if South Auckland had more social agencies.

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