Members of the Mongrel Mob appeared to act as security at the Christchurch vigil for the 50 terror attack victims today.

Several members attended the Friday prayer in Hagley Park as Al Noor Mosque imam Gamal Fouda spoke to thousands to honour the 50 killed at the two Christchurch mosques.

Wearing Mongrel Mob T-shirts, red caps, and dark sunglasses, members appeared to want to act as security while members of the public entered. There was also a heavy armed police presence and private security.

They also took selfies while Australian sportsman Anthony Mundine spoke to media.

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In Hamilton, the Waikato chapter of the Mongrel Mob turned out to the afternoon prayers at Jamia Masjid.

Member sof the Mongrel Mob perform a haka at Friday prayers in Hamilton. Photo / Natalie Akoorie
Member sof the Mongrel Mob perform a haka at Friday prayers in Hamilton. Photo / Natalie Akoorie

The president Sonny Fatu said there was three reasons why.

The first was that "we have brothers and sisters and family members who practice the Islamic faith".

"Number two is we have a duty as a community to be there in time of need. And number three, if we have a look at effective policing, it's more effective when they are working with the community. They can't do it all on their own."

Fatu's gang gave a powerful and passionate haka performance on the roadside outside the mosque immediately after Friday prayers finished.

Afterwards a huge crowd gathered around the gang cheered and applauded and many Mulisms hugged the gang members, shook their hands, hongied and took photographs with them.

Fatu said the reception to the gang's presence had been overwhelming.

"It just goes to show that there are people who see the good that we do. You know, everybody is so fixated on the negative and the bad things. So it's good to be able to do something that's righteous and people recognise that. Because pain's the same for everyone."

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A Mongrel Mob members embraces a vigil attendee. Photo / Natalie Akoorie
A Mongrel Mob members embraces a vigil attendee. Photo / Natalie Akoorie

Waikato Muslim Association's Shahid Khan said members of the Mongrel Mob asked permission to attend today's prayers last Saturday.

"I think we have to accept them because they are as good and as bad as anyone in our community."

Earlier today, the Herald reported that the world's biggest Mongrel Mob group said it would abandon use of Nazi symbolism in the wake of the attack.

Mongrel Mob Kingdom president Paito Fatu told Maori Television's Te Ao that his organisation would no longer use the Mob's rallying cry of the past 50 years, "sieg heil".

The phrase is German for "hail victory" and was the salute of Adolf Hitler's German National Socialist Party, or Nazi regime.

Instead "Mongrel Mob" will be the new catch-cry, Fatu told Te Ao, in an effort to move away from violent crime including domestic violence and drug abuse.

"I like our brothers and sisters to acknowledge each other by saying 'Mongrel Mob'."

Fatu claims the move is part of a transition to a new cause focusing on empowering whānau, women and children, Te Ao reported.

"It's about a big mind shift. It's about getting out there and doing things productively, constructively and positive to the best of our ability. Doing what everyone else is doing and trying to do a little bit better."

Anti-establishment and hate symbols were adopted by the Mongrel Mob in the early 1960s as a way of rebelling against "the system".

But the link to Hitler and his atrocities in World War II drew widespread condemnation.

"I look at this era as a healing time," Fatu said of the new attitude.

"When we look back at how we used it, it was rebelling against the system. Anything that the system saw was evil and bad, we [adopted] some of those and that was just our way of [giving] the system the finger."

The Kingdom is the fastest growing Mob chapter in New Zealand, with more than 400 members locally and 200 from countries including Canada, Russia, France and the Solomon Islands, Te Ao said.

Fatu told Te Ao most regional chapters were not ready to follow suit and he would not attempt to sway them.

"When we do engage with other mob chapters, when they come up to me most of them will say 'Mongrel Mob'.

"Hopefully this kōrero here may resonate to some of our rangatira perhaps outside to our extended families to think about things."