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Gang patches banned in Wanganui

Published: 6:06PM Monday August 31, 2009 Source: ONE News/NZPA

The Wanganui District Council voted to ban gang patches during a meeting on Monday afternoon.

The Prohibition of Gang Insignia bylaw will give police powers to fine patch wearers $2000 and to take their gang insignia away from them.

However, divisions over the issue were evident during the meeting as three councillors walked out during the vote.

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The meeting continued without them and in the presence of gang members, the other councillors unanimously agreed to ban gang patches in parts of the town.

"There are people in Wanganui who will say we don't have a gang problem, but the fact is there is a gang problem in Wanganui, just as there is in other towns and cities," says senior councillor Randhir Dahya.

Opponents of the bylaw say they are planning to take to the streets to protest the move, with some gang members saying it breaches their bill of rights.

The idea of ridding patches from the town was first floated in early 2006.

Local residents wanted to make sure their voices were heard after the death of Wanganui toddler Jhia Te Tua.

The two-year-old was shot dead in her family home.

She was an innocent victim of gang conflict.

Do you support the bylaw? Will it make Wanganui a safer place to live? Share your opinion on our message board below:



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  • Shanny said on 2009-12-01 @ 21:09 NZDT: Report abusive post

    bsides how do you know all these things?? did you watch it on tv?? rather opinionated for someone who has absolutely no idea of gang life or mentality. Believe what you know for a fact is true not based on what you watched on tv lastnite.

  • Shanny said on 2009-12-01 @ 20:43 NZDT: Report abusive post

    In response to...... (LAYMAN) Do you really think that would be the most logical move for the government to make?? Do you really think banning gangs altogether is going to be an effective solution to such a controversial issue? I strongly disagree with your opinion!!! Who's to say gang members are any worse then any of us? the only reason they are so highly targeted nower days is because of steriotypical attitudes and exhaduration that everything they do is because of their "gang affiliations"

  • Lauriem said on 2009-09-08 @ 23:35 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I say punish bad behaviour. The problem with banning things that people wear is that it has the potential to get out of hand and stop any freedom of expression and infringe civil liberties. The rule is for all, so there is potential for local government to stop other people wearing what they want. Does this stop at gang members or does it extend to everyone. Do Liverpool United jerseys become legislated against for example?

  • Bevan white said on 2009-09-08 @ 13:15 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Im for this law it sets the right initiatives on gangs in NZ and so far this news says a gang member has been fined and a patch confiscated thus dealt the first blow of this law and its maximum punishment is imprisonment. The laws purpose is to reduces intimidation and help police to police the gang issue that means the law is working. Hes in police books now as a known gang member before there were loop holes as to confirm that fact and I can see Ron marks ban on gangs law coming in the future

  • b3h3m0th666 said on 2009-09-07 @ 13:09 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I do not agree with Gang patches at all, but this is what we would class as socialization. This is where society believes one is not "accepted" and a pressures one to change to function properly in society. Generally what tends to happen, if one does not accept what is happening they tend to be punished by society. As what is happening with the gang members. Not all are as bad as what is portrayed. The patch is an intimidating symbol and I believe this is the reason why society has chosen this