Unusual bedfellows: how gangs are pushing New Zealand’s Covid vaccination drive
Cabinet ministers have been meeting with gang leaders as the country targets an ambitious vaccination rate
After the needle entered his right arm, the man raised his left fist in a brief salute. Surgical mask covering parts of his facial tattoos, he nodded to the nurse. A long ponytail cut a line through the blue and white letters covering his back: a patch, signifying membership of one of New Zealand’s largest and most infamous street gangs. Mark Pitman, leader of Black Power New Zealand, was getting vaccinated on national television.
“I want to do it and I want the rest of our organisation around the country to know I’ve got it done,” Pitman told the camera. “I’m a leader. And I lead from example.”