Mongrel Mob member greeting a photographer
|Founding location||Hawke's Bay|
|Ethnicity||Mixed, predominantly Māori and Polynesian|
|Criminal activities||Drug trafficking, weapon trafficking, extortion, prostitution, assault, murder, robbery, theft and money laundering|
|Rivals||Black Power, Crips, Road Knights, Satans Slaves, Tribesmen, Killer Beez, Nomads|
The Mongrel Mob is an organised street gang based in New Zealand that has a network of more than thirty chapters throughout the country. They are especially active in King Country, Opotiki and Hastings. Some of the best known chapters are Mongrel Mob Hastings, Mongrel Mob Porirua and Mongrel Mob Notorious. The Mongrel Mob's main rival is the Black Power gang and there have been several very public and violent clashes between the two gangs over the years.
The gang began with a group of mainly European youths from Wellington and Hawke's Bay in the 1960s. Legend within the gang holds that the name "Mongrels" originated from the comments of a judge in the Hastings Magistrate's Court, who referred to a group of men before him as "mongrels". However, one original member believes the name arose in Wellington or the Hutt Valley in 1962, while another original believes the name was bestowed by the police in Wellington. Whatever the origin, the group embraced the term. By the late 1960s loose groups of rebellious young men in Wellington and Hawke's Bay were calling themselves Mongrels.
By about 1970 the Mongrels were also known as the Mongrel Mob, and the gang had expanded to include numerous Māori. Members consider Hastings in Hawke's Bay to be the gang's "Fatherland" or birthplace, and the gang first became known for its violence in Hawke's Bay. Later, similarly named groups sprang up around the country, forming their own independent chapters.
Mongrel Mob colours are predominantly red and black. The patches usually feature a swastika and a British Bulldog wearing a German Stahlhelm, which supposedly is an image intended to offend as it is a British Bulldog wearing the helmet. The patch is worn on the back of "patched members" – those considered loyal and trustworthy enough to be in the gang. The patch will also be tattooed on the member's body. Mob members are known for their tattooed faces and red bandannas.
The gang offers a surrogate 'family' for young men, most of whom are often alienated from their family via joining. Members are from New Zealand's Māori, European or other Polynesian ethnic groups, with Māori or part Māori predominating.
A "prospect" is a person who is loyal to the gang but is not a "patched member" yet and must normally do errands or "missions" to show his loyalty to his gang. A "prospect" normally has a "patched member" to report or "clock in" to. This "patched member" normally decides when it is time for the "prospect" to be "patched".
The hierarchy is: captain or president, vice president, sergeant at arms, patched members, prospects. In some cases they use younger blood gangs as prospects.
Involvement in organised crime
At the beginning being a member of the gang was more about having a certain lifestyle and code. At the end of the 1980s certain chapters of the Mongrel Mob began to get increasingly involved in organised criminal activity such as drug trafficking, prostitution and armed robbery.
Ross Kemp on Gangs had an episode about New Zealand gangs which heavily featured the Mongrel Mob.
Tuhoe Isaac- former senior member often featured in the media.
- Collins, Simon (25 July 2006). "Gang shackles define life on the Ford Block". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- Rowan, Juliet (10 March 2006). "Police seize Mongrel Mob arms cache". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Police say Mongrel Mob still criminals". Daily Post, 14 December 2006.
- Gilbert, Jarrod (2013). Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand. Auckland University Press. pp. 37–43.
- Johnston, Kirsty (9 June 2013). "LA-style gangs fuel problems in NZ prisons". Stuff. Fairfax NZ News. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- Boyer, Sam. "Mob members half of capital's gangsters". Fairfax NZ News. Retrieved 29 October 2013.