Patched members at Parliament

By Patrick Gower

Two patched gang members made their presence felt at Parliament last week - but they were there to stop crime rather than create it.

Justice Minister Simon Power told Parliament that two Mongrel Mob or Black Power gang members attended last week's meeting on the drivers of crime.

Mr Power, responding to questions from Act MP David Garrett, said they did not wear any gang regalia and were invited by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, who was working with one of them to reduce youth crime.

Although neither Mr Power nor Mr Sharples' offices would confirm who the members were, they are sure to be far from controversial.

One is likely to be Eugene Ryder, a community worker and Black Power spokesman when it lodged a Treaty of Waitangi claim last year.

Mr Ryder would not comment yesterday, saying the Herald should not single him out and instead contact all the participants, such as Police Commissioner Howard Broad, and check if they had gang affiliations.

- NZ Herald

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