Mongrel Mob launches petition to strip National's Simeon Brown of portfolios over 'racist rhetoric'

Rebecca Moore
Source: 1News

A petition has been launched to strip National MP Simeon Brown of his police, corrections, SFO and youth portfolios after what the Mongrel Mob claims was a "racist rhetoric" posted online following the death of a senior member in Hawke's Bay.

On Tuesday, members of the gang were reportedly driving dangerously and doing burnouts during a tangi.

Photos show motorbikes flooding State Highway 2, which Brown slammed online.

"Unbelievable. Another gang funeral in Hawke's Bay where gangs were are able to take over the road. This should not be tolerated," he wrote.

"The same gang who effectively shut down Hawke’s Bay roads today also shut down a school for two days - where they held their funeral. Do gangs just have free run in NZ? Do they face any consequences? Unbelievable.

"Is it acceptable under this Labour Government for schools to shut down kids - so that gangs can hold funerals?"

Hawke's Bay Area Commander Inspector Lincoln Sycamore said "traffic offending" and "significant congestion" occurred on State Highway 2, south of Pakipaki. He appealed for anyone with footage of the tangi to bring it forward to police.

However, this morning Sonny Fatupaito of Ariki Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom said it was "deeply disturbing to see the vitriol directed at the tangihanga of a senior Hawke's Bay Mongrel Mob member".

"Posts by MP Simeon Brown and media commentary are deliberately inciting division along racial lines by ignoring that tangihanga is part of enduring Māori ceremony," Fatupaito said.

"Through a Māori lens this was showing respect, especially for a young man whose passing was unexpected and shocked by many.

"Through a pākehā perspective this might be seen as lawlessness, but it was done as part of grieving, respect and love. Something we can all relate to. It is also not up to another culture or person to dictate how one needs to grieve."

However, Brown appears to be sticking to his guns.

"If gangs are trying to get me sacked, I must be doing something right," he told 1 NEWS, in response to questions about the petition and his perspective on the funeral.

The petition was set up by Lou Hutchinson, who handles public relations for a Hamilton chapter of the Mongrel Mob.

Fatupaito said the petition also calls for Brown to apologise to the affected whānau, that he be censured by the National Party, he be censured by the Speaker of the House, that his Facebook and Twitter posts be removed pertaining to the tangihanga and his social media accounts be suspended until completion of a cultural sensitivity counselling course or when the Speaker of the House sees fit.

"It is my absolute belief Mr Brown is unfit to hold these positions. These portfolios are key to the implementation of intergeneration change in Aotearoa, which frankly Mr Brown simply does not have the maturity, experience or wisdom to be dealing with, particularly due to his cultural incompetency and racist rhetoric.

"Aotearoa is facing social upheaval and division. This is beyond the game of politics. Division will never work as a way of winning power or profile. It is not what I see as the role of an Opposition MP.

"The posts and screenshotting of posts is culturally offensive and disrespectful to whānau and should never be tolerated by any culture or person regardless of who they are."