Native Affairs - Gang Rites

By Iulia Leilua

What happens when a Māori gang member's last wish is to be farewelled at the local marae and laid to rest in the whanau urupa?

Many of these men have turned their backs on their whanau, but later decide they want to return to their ancestors.

It's an issue every marae is likely to face because there are literally thousands of gang affiliated Māori and, if the marae allows the tangi, who decides what gang behaviour is acceptable and who enforces the rules? 

As Iulia Leilua found out, marae committees around the motu are grappling with these questions.