The girlfriend of a Kiwi Mongrel Mob member with 'notorious' tattooed on his face has defended her beau after he was targeted by rapper 50 Cent online.
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Earlier this month, Puk Kireka spoke to NZME about his huge black and red facial tattoo, saying it would be a challenge to find employment.
"I know it will be hard to get a job with my tatts," he said.
After international media picked up the story, 50 Cent chimed in with his own opinions, reposting a story from The Sun with the caption: "What the f**k is really going on man. I wonder why he can't get a job," to his 23.2 million followers.
Now, Waiora Tareha, who met her boyfriend Kireka at a fitness group, is fighting back on his behalf.
"No one wants to see someone they love talked about negatively by strangers who have no knowledge of their upbringing or their true selves," she told Stuff.
"I do believe he was unfairly judged all because he has a facial tattoo."
Tareha admitted she too had her reservations about Kireka's choice in ink, however she maintained no one should judge a book by its cover.
"When I initially met him I was very stand-offish because I am not used to seeing someone with facial tattoos like that or being around gang members," she said.
"As I got to know him through training together I realised he's just like everyone else and has an enormous heart for his family and the community."
After being called out by an international rap star, Kireka responded online, telling the 'Get Rich or Die Tryin' hit-maker: "If you've got something to say come over".
"Unfortunately I can't come to your country 'coz I'm too gangster and my criminal history won't allow me to enter into your country," he can be seen saying in a Facebook video.
"So haere mai, come over to New Zealand, Hawke's Bay, sit down and we'll have a chat... whatever you want to do."
Kireka's girlfriend Tareha has since set up a fundraising page for her partner, asking for donations to "help Puk on his path to his dream job by supporting him with his education".