A Black Power kingpin with multiple prison stints behind him has won a $52,500 council contract to maintain several areas of Dunedin's public land.
But although council staff called the move a "leap of faith", they said it was also a chance to give the man's children something other than gang life to aspire to.
The contract was signed off yesterday.
The man, Albert Epere, will be carrying out weed and litter control and path maintenance under the "trial" contract, Dunedin City Council events and community development manager Rebecca Williams said.
Mr Epere, a patched Black Power leader who has served prison terms for assault and grievous bodily harm, was not available for comment yesterday.
Mrs Williams said she did not know "anything about becoming a Black Power member" and confirmed the council had not looked into what it took to become a patched member of the gang as part of their due diligence.
Mr Epere had come before the council as an individual, not a Black Power representative, and had already spent 12 months employed by the council as a supervisor for its Taskforce Green initiative, Mrs Williams said.
Taskforce Green gives long-term unemployed unpaid, supervised parks and reserves maintenance work to help them move towards a paid job.
"He made no secrets about his past and that he'd done things he wasn't proud of in the past," she said.
"He is still a member of the Black Power gang but he wants a different future for his children.