“There are now 6,375 patched and prospect members across New Zealand – an increase of 1,400 more gang members since 2017.
Police say three-quarters of the country’s mobsters are Maori – despite the fact they make up just 15 per cent of the population.
Many said they joined as much for whanau, as for money, power or thrills.”
Money and power from illicit activity are coupled with a desire for high adrenaline activities.
Many of our recruits come from troubled homes and crave a desire to be a part of a family unit. The gangs leverage this to their advantage.
“In the past, a stereotypical gang member wore a slightly ill-fitting gang patch, looked unshaven and in the need of a shower – that is not the modern game,” – Minister Nash, 2019
The gangs are now wearing stylish label clothing albeit in gang colours. Several gangs operate in positive ways for their communities. For example, offering to be guards during the Mosque attacks. Further, modern gangs are using social media to recruit.
Mana Services provides targeted programs for high-risk rangatahi by appealing to them in culturally relevant ways.
We refer to this as our “bright shiny things” strategy. We build in high octane and action-orientated elements. This acts as a front for the educational and aspirational elements of our programs.
What do we mean by capture attention?
Big, Brash & Bold
We work with the latest equipment that is considered “cool” to our young people. They want to be seen using it.
Example: Water sports
When we turn up to the lake to do water sports, our truck and boat turns heads! The bold graphics and incredible equipment help the youth to A) want to be seen in it and B) be seen using it.
Use of equipment in more than just a highly controlled environment.
Multi day-use and experience. Not just short excursions where youth do not get much of a turn.
Action orientated mixed with cultural learning.
Example: Camping & Outdoor Adventure
Our program will use Polaris Ace UTVs (as shown in pictures). Each youth will have their own UTV. After completing a full day course to be certified in its use and being certified as competent they will then embark on a 3-5 day adventure with up to 5 other UTVs to go glamping “Camping with all the mod-cons”. We will select relevant cultural locations to visit and whilst camping use it as an opportunity to teach them about Flora, Fauna and living off the land. Upon their return, this experience will be used to benefit certification credits.
Offering appealing activities with the coolest equipment and programmes the youth have ever seen.
Programme leaders who know how to engage the youth and present a successful alternative lifestyle to that offered by gangs.
Before any participation in our Active Experiences, the youth must show that they can A) take instruction seriously B) show competency in the use of the equipment.
After obtaining their certification, they can complete stage 3. At this point, they are ready to experience the course. Driving a boat, riding a jet ski, or driving a 4×4 UTV.
Where possible all our programmes will tie back into NCEA and or other tertiary accreditation programmes. For example, a certificate to drive a fishing boat or drive a truck.