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Mongrel Mob chapter pilots programme to help members kick meth addiction

A Mongrel Mob chapter has taken steps to help its own members battle meth addiction through a pilot programme called Kahukura Wānanga.

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Mongrel Mob Notorious Chain Dog has 10 members immersing themselves in Māori culture and going cold turkey. Source: Te Karere

The Mongrel Mob Notorious Chain Dog community have seen around 10 of their members be a part of the first intake.

It sees them live together over eight weeks in Whātuiāpiti Marae, based in Central Hawke’s Bay, immersing themselves in Māori culture and going cold turkey.

Being on the programme, means a drug and alcohol free commitment from the men, who are visited each week by a nurse and provided education about the harmful effects of P.

It’s hoped the environment will help the gang members avoid feelings of judgement and discrimination they may experience in mainstream health services.

“In the beginning there was a lot of anxiety and dealing with past trauma, how to deal with feelings of anger, depression,” Te Kanawa Ngarotata told TVNZ 1’s Te Karere.

“It was a mix of emotions coming out, but now it’s really good.”

Mahinarangi Tuhi-Smith, whose husband Sonny Smith is the national president of Mongrel Mob Notorious, said the labels that are assigned to gang members don’t define them.

“It’s about kotahitangi and accepting them for who they are, and for working on themselves.

It was hoped the participants would take the lessons home with them to share with their whānau.

“The goal is to have them go back home and be completely drug free, so while they are here, they stamp it out,” kaumātua Don Hutana said.

The programme has been made possible through Te Rau Matatini and Hard2Reach.