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TVNZ to screen Gang Girls doco

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AUCKLAND (Front of the Box/Pacific Media Watch): Television New Zealand will next week screen Gang Girls, a powerful new documentary telling the stories of seven women from the country's most notorious gangs.

This is the first time on New Zealand television that gang women have told their stories, and they tell their very personal stories with honesty and passion that will intrigue and fascinate, horrify and humble the most hardened of hearts.

The documentary is being broadcast on TV2 at 8.30 pm on November 20. For many of these women their journey starts with their childhood where extreme but contradictory experiences were a normal part of life. These women experienced a sense of loss and gain, extreme violence and brutality, strength, loyalty and power.

Their stories can be horrifying but compelling, heart rendering but inspirational. But throughout the telling the women show dignity and humour.

… Lillian Noble was an original patched member of Mongrel Mob Ponsonby chapter. This was in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the gangs were very active. She saw herself as equal to a man and demanded she be treated accordingly.

… Faye Manukau was president of Papakura Black Power women¹s chapter in the mid 1980s. She ruled the roost for more than 10 years, enjoying most of the privileges that the male members enjoyed.

… Marlene Te Pania has been in and out of different gangs since she was 15 years old. She explains her childhood as being "Once Were Warriors lifestyle to the max". At 42, she has made the Mongrel Mob her family for the last 20 years.

… Zelma Cook, 46, has been involved with King Cobra Gang Member Kaa Kalili for four years. She is neither bothered nor concerned about her partner¹s involvement in the gang and prefers the sideline stance.

… Bosi and Shilo live in Porirua and have been involved with the Porirua Mob since the early 1970s. Both have been partners of Mongrel Mob members. "It¹s like an urban whanau".

… Glennis Dennehy is an academic and has written the acclaimed and controversial Girls in the Gang after being involved in gang culture through her partner. She wishes her children hadn¹t experienced or seen extreme violence but "If things were different I wouldn¹t be the person that I am today".

Producer Claudette Hauiti says: "Some of the Gang Girls profiled here are members of our whanau and it¹s easy for us to take the lives they lead for granted.

The brutal honesty of these women is inspiring, but they mustn¹t be viewed as martyrs, but as waahine toa living on the edge and surviving tough lives."

Gang Girls has two directors -- Award Winner John Bates Director of 1951 as consulting director and emerging director Paula Jones.

For more information contact FRONT OF THE BOX PRODUCTIONS, Producer Claudette Hauiti 021896163, Director Paula Jones 021606157, Consulting director John Bates 025819594 chauiti@frontofthebox.co.nz


PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE http://www.pmw.c2o.org

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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