Tokoroa gangs put aside differences to get vaccinated

Source: 1News

Gangs in Tokoroa have put aside their differences and come together to get vaccinated in the region.

Black Power, Crips, Filthy Few, and Mangu Kaha members stood in solidarity to send a powerful message to others.

Tokoroa is in south Waikato, where 84 per cent of the eligible population have received their first dose, and 70 per cent are fully vaccinated. At Saturday's event 53 people received a jab.

“At the end of the day we're a marginalised community, bringing them out here, a lot of them are afraid, they don't know where to go to or where to source that information,” Black Power’s Banaba Kaitai said.

“So us being leaders and getting down here our hope is to get our marginalised community out here get the information get the vaccine protect yourself and your whanau."

Warren Low from the Filthy Few said they were there to ensure a better future.

"We're down here today to promote this vaccine, help our tamariki out, look after them, get a better future for our people."

It's one of many events in the last few months, organised by whānau and Waiariki Whānau Mentoring to boost vaccinations for vulnerable communities.

It's personal for the former police officer who's also worked at Oranga Tamariki and the Social Development Ministry.

"In reality as an ex-police officer, I locked a lot of these people up, I was a part of the problem and I've realised that in order to understand that part problem is I've now come into this place understanding that problem, and doing it our way,” Waata Heathcote from Waiariki Whānau Mentoring said.

The importance of the kaupapa not lost on those rolling up their sleeves

"What we want families to do is come here with an open mind with their free will intact, come and do the research we've got all the experts down here,” Banaba said.