'They're genuinely changing' - Meet the Waikato Mongrel Mob's new PR representative

Source: 1News

A woman volunteering her time to represent the Mongrel Mob Kingdom chapter in its dealings with media and public says she truly believes the chapter is trying to be better.

Louise Hutchinson, a mother of two who grew up in Hawke's Bay, spoke to TVNZ1's Breakfast programme this morning about what motivated her to seek out a role within the Mob.

"These people are genuine," Ms Hutchinson said.

She says she was inspired by the Mob's response to the March 15 terrorist attacks, where gang members rallied behind New Zealand mosques and even provided security for them.

"I just wanted to connect with their leadership and I did that - I was just really amazed and blown away by what I saw."

Ms Hutchinson said the Kingdom chapter is truly trying to make the lives of its members better, and that president Sonny Fatupaito is actively discouraging members away from crime.

She said members often suffer from domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse and are prone to suicide.

"They don't want to live lives of misery - it's about them having successful, healthy lives for their whānau," she said.

The Kingdom chapter of the Mob left the national Mongrel Mob presidents' table two years ago to go its own way.

Police figures released in October this year suggested that membership in the Mongrel Mob was growing, with up to 6735 patched and prospect gang members now spread out across the country.

Ms Hutchinson has said her joining with the Mongrel Mob Kingdom is not a ploy to increase membership.

Asked whether she could categorically rule out criminal activities by Kingdom members, Ms Hutchinson was diplomatic in her response.

"All I can say is that Paito (Sonny Fatupaito) is not a dictator.

"What people do in their homes and behind closed doors - we can't micro-manage things.

"He gives them leadership, he inspires them to live their lives better and that's what they're doing.

"These people are leading from the front they're genuinely changing."

Watch the full interview above.