Mongrel Mob sets up petition to get National's Simeon Brown sacked from roles

The Waikato Mongrel Mob has launched a petition calling for Judith Collins to strip Simeon Brown of his portfolios, accusing him of inciting racial division.

Brown, National's Police and Corrections spokesperson, shared an image on Tuesday of Mongrel Mob gang members in Hawke's Bay riding their motorcycles on both sides of the road and holding up traffic on the way to a funeral.

"Unbelievable. Another gang funeral in Hawkes Bay where gang members were able to take over the road. This should not be tolerated," he wrote. 

Party leader Collins shared his tweet, saying "guess that's one law for gangs and another for the rest of us". 

Louise Hutchinson, the Waikato Mongrel Mob's public relations representative, at the time told Newshub Brown's comments were "culturally insensitive" and offensive to the family of the man who had died. 

She's now set up a petition calling for Brown to be stripped of his portfolios. It's received nearly 400 signatures online since being launched on Wednesday night. 

"Posts by MP Simeon Brown and media commentary are deliberately inciting division along racial lines by ignoring that tangihanga is part of enduring Māori ceremony," the petition says.

"Aotearoa is facing social upheaval and division, this is beyond the game of politics, division will never work as a way of winning power or profile, it is not what we see as the role of an Opposition MP." 

Hutchinson, who has clashed with Brown before, wants Brown to apologise to the dead man's family, be censured, have his social media accounts suspended, complete a cultural sensitivity counselling course and have his portfolios taken off him.

But National's not having it.

"If the gangs are trying to get me sacked, I must be doing something right," Brown told Newshub.

Collins said: "You know National is on the right side of law and order when the Mongrel Mob is petitioning for our MPs to be sacked, while Government Ministers are popping into their gang pads for lunch."

The National leader revealed to The AM Show on Wednesday morning that Brown had received death threats after his social media posts about the funeral.

"He's concerned - as am I... they used words like, they said they would 'pop him' - which I think that means to shoot him."

Brown told Newshub he received "a number" of threatening messages on Tuesday night, which he has taken to the police and they are taking "seriously". 

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson, who is also the minister responsible for the prevention of family and sexual violence, spoke at a Waikato Mongrel Mob gang pad earlier in May. 

"It's really important that I engage with whānau-led solutions and that includes all whānau," she said at the time. "For some years now I've been engaging with the women who are affiliated with gangs and their desires to see healthy, violence-free lives for them, their mokopuna and their whole whānau."

On Wednesday, she said that after criticism from Brown about her visit, "my daughter and I also received death threats of violence and buses". 

"It shows that divisive debate can put us all at risk, which we must be wary of," she told Newshub. 

She extended her sympathy to Brown, saying she hopes he's taking "appropriate steps" to report the threats he's received.

One man has already been arrested for allegedly threatening to kill Brown. The 25-year-old was found at a Lower Hutt address in early May and entered no plea when he appeared in court.

Police monitored the tangi which took place south of Pakipaki on Tuesday and say several people have been arrested for allegedly breaching bail conditions following the event.

Hawke's Bay area commander Insp Lincoln Sycamore said police have dedicated a team to following up reports of various traffic offences, including burnouts and dangerous driving.

"Initial enquiries suggest some motorists engaged in dangerous behaviour that put themselves and others at risk. We want to reassure the community that we do not tolerate this type of behaviour on our roads and offenders will be held accountable."