Puk Kireka has left the Mighty Mongrel Mob after spending 10 years as a member of the gang
A notorious gangster who has “notorious” tattooed on his face and was once tattooed with 50 Cent tells of how he got off meth addiction and left his violent past behind.
Puk Kireka was one of the most recognizable members of New Zealand’s Mighty Mongrel Mob – a gang with members of mostly Maori descent, many of whom are convicted murderers.
Forming in Wellington and Hawkes Bay in the 1960s, the Mongrels are hard-coded to outsiders and prefer to operate in the shadows. Many have prominent facial tattoos that tell stories of their cultural past.
Kireka, who was a prominent member of The Mongrels for 10 years, said the birth of his child led him to leave the gang that once gave him meaning.
‘I had to break the cycle. People came into my life and showed me what life is really about, ”said Kireka Robett Hollis
“I would either end up in prison for a very long time or die.”
Role down in front of video
Kireka said the birth of his child was the catalyst behind finding the decision to leave the gang that once gave him meaning
The 33-year-old, who spent five of his ten years in prison, said his upbringing was what drove him to join the Mongrels.
Kireka’s father, brother, uncles and cousins were all members of the gang, and after losing his father when he was only seven years old, he searched for role models within the group.
‘I didn’t know how to deal with anyone outside the gang. I just knew how to be a gang member and I was really good at it, ”Kireka said.
Kireka said the birth of his third child was when he first saw life outside of the gang.
He admitted to being a bad father in the past, even taking his now 12-year-old boy to gang meetings and “ dressing him up like a little gangster ” – a pattern he must now reverse.
Kireka says he now wants to dedicate his life to his family and continue to fight the inner demons that still haunt him. He is depicted with his third child
The Mighty Mongrel Mob – a group of mostly Maori descent, many of whom are convicted murderers
“He started to feel attracted to that life, so now I’m slowly pulling him back,” Kireka said of his son.
Kireka was convicted of assaulting his partner in 2019, saying the incident was “ the start of his change. ”
The woman was hit to the ground so hard that she broke her nose. Kireka says he only ‘pushed’ her and pleaded guilty to the charges to ‘move on’.
“I was guilty of pushing her, I’ll get up and say that,” Kireka says of the incident.
‘That was difficult because I was trying to change and it happened. I thought I just had to stay naughty because I didn’t get this response when I was still naughty. ‘
Kireka’s father, brother, uncles and cousins were all members of the gang, and after losing his father when he was only seven years old, he looked for role models within the group
Kireka says he is motivated to be a good role model for his newborn after admittedly being a bad father to his two older children
The 33-year-old admitted to being a bad father in the past, even taking his now 12-year-old boy to gang meetings and ‘dressed him up like a little gangster’ – a pattern he must now reverse
The 33-year-old, now in college and running his own online fitness coaching business, admits his tattoo has proved a challenge in his post-gang life and keeps him from doing things as simple as going out for dinner.
Kireka says the tattoo pays tribute to friends within the Mongrels who died, most notably from suicide and drug addiction, and said he would wear it with pride because he wanted people to know he was a gangster.
‘I tattooed my face to remember them, they are my brothers for life. I didn’t think or care what people would think. I wanted to wear this proudly. There is no undercover, ”said Kireka.
‘I was in it for life. I was proud to walk around with this on my face and let everyone know, this me, and I don’t care what you think. That was the attitude I had.
The Mighty Mongrel Mob has set up charters all over New Zealand and even Australia
‘When I got this tattoo I didn’t think I wouldn’t go to many places. Now, because of the tattoo, I can’t even go to places for lunch anymore.
“If I go somewhere, I have to put on makeup if I want to go in.”
Kireka says he now wants to dedicate his life to his family and continue to fight the inner demons that still haunt him.
He came into the spotlight last June when 50 Cent mocked him for trying to raise money to go to college.
Kireka, who has ‘infamous’ tattooed on his face, now works as a fitness coach
The American rapper responded to Kireka’s tattoo on Instagram, saying: ‘What the hell is going on man. I wonder why he can’t get a job. ‘
Kireka fired back at 50 Cent’s comments and invited him to New Zealand for a ‘chat’.
“Someone like him calls me in his status, I feel a little bit privileged,” Kireka said in video footage.
“But at the end of the day, if you have anything to say, come by.”
Kireka says the tattoo pays tribute to friends within the Mongrels who died, mostly of suicide and drug addiction
The 33-year-old came into the spotlight last June when 50 Cent mocked him for trying to raise money to go to college
The Mighty Mongrel Mob was founded in 1962 by Europeans who had moved to New Zealand. In the 1970s, they had included Maori in the group, who today make up the bulk of the members.
Their name is famously derived from a judge who described the group as a bunch of ‘bastards’, a name that stuck in the gang among the youngsters.
Their patch features a British Bulldog wearing a German Stahlhelm intended as an insult to the English. They also have Nazi swastikas on clothing and perform Nazi ‘seig salvation’ as an attempt to go against the cultural construction.
In 2013, the Mongrels had 934 members incarcerated, accounting for nearly 10 percent of New Zealand’s prison population.
There have been several public and violent clashes between the Mongrel Mob and their main rival, the Black Power gang, most notably a gun battle in Whakatane in 2018.
The gang first expanded to Australia in the 2000s and began setting up chapters in Queensland, particularly on the Gold Coast. They also set up a charter in Canada in 2018.
The Mongrel Mob was founded in 1962 and is one of New Zealand’s biggest gangs.