Gang member warms the hearts of Palmerston North's homeless

Talisa Kupenga

Neke atu i te rua te rua rau, e rima tekau mā rima mano tāngata kua mātakitaki atu i tētahi whāataata Pukamata o Te Kaipo Ahuriri, he mema kēnge nō Te Papaioea, he kimi, he whāngai i te hunga kore kāinga tāna mahi i ngā rā okioki nei.

Kei te hiahia a Ahuriri me tōna hoa wahine ki te whakapuare i te tuawhā o ngā Kāuta Hūpa Aroha o te motu hei te Hakihea, hei awhi i te hunga pōkaikaha.

Kotahi marama a Te Kaipo Ahuriri me tona whānau e noho ana hei ringa wera ki te whāngai i ngā puku o te kainga kore kia kore ai rātou e kai para ki Te Papaioea.

Hei tā Te Kaipo Ahuriri, Tūhoe, Tūhourangi, “When you sort of don't have family to fall on in hard times you're on your own out there and I could understand where they were coming from. Being adopted I sort of in a way have felt homeless my whole life and I've always brought people home that I see on the streets either for a feed or somewhere to sleep for the night and it started from there.”

Ki ngā tiriti, ko te wā o te uaua ka heipū ake i te Paraire, oti kau hei te Mane. Ko te momo ka kitea he tāne i waenga i te toru tekau tau me te ono tekau tau te pakeke.

Ko tā Ahuriri, “The first day there was probably four or five just and on the Saturday but yesterday there were about 11 people, and new faces that I haven't seen on the street before. I actually lost a dear friend and he was found on the streets of Rotorua last year by the Love Soup Kitchen that's how I made contact with them.”

E hiahia ana ki te whakatuwhera i nga tatau o te kihini hupa aroha tuawha ki Te Papaioea. Ko tā Ahuriri hiahia kia kite te hapori i āna mahi, ehara i ōna tānga moko me ōna tohu kēnge.

Hei tā Ahuriri, “Being a patched gang member you have an influence on people but a lot of them use it for the wrong ways this is where we want to go using our powers if we have any to influence people in the right way rather than young people thinking 'oh gang member cool, he's a bad ass he'll go do this and that' but they might say now 'oh he's doing nice stuff you know hopefully it makes people better people in the end.”

Ka hui ngātahi a Ahuriri me te kihini hupa aroha kia eke tāna hiahia. E harikoa ana ia kua kitea whānuitia tāna kiriata kia mōhio ai te hapori i ngā raru o te hunga kore kāinga.