‘In God’s gang now’

‘X-Men’ to speak at Tour of Duty event.

‘X-Men’ to speak at Tour of Duty event.

MAN UP: Toko Kopu is one of the speakers at The Tour of Duty Gisborne on Saturday. The ex-gang member will talk about how he has turned his life around.
Picture supplied

The testimonies of men who have been in gangs and come out the other side will be heard at a free whanau event tomorrow.

There will be 50 Harley Davidson motorbikes, along with bouncy castles, a barbecue and face painting as part of the event organised by Destiny Church.

The Tour of Duty Gisborne is part of a nationwide movement and new approach to reduce Maori offending.

Former gang member Toko Kopu will be one of four men at the event who will speak as a member of “the X-Men panel”.

He will travel to Gisborne for the event on his Harley Davidson.

Mr Kopu, now 56, was part of a gang for 42 years.

“I’m in God’s gang now,” he says.

It was important, especially for men of all ages, to hear the stories of those who had “been there and done that and come out the other side”.

“That’s the most important part. People have changed their lives, and how did they change it? They wised up.”

Mr Kopu will be joined on the panel by Richard Faavesi, Jay Hepi and David Pouwhare.

The Tour of Duty is at the YMCA from 11am and the X-Men panel members will speak from 2pm.

The testimonies of men who have been in gangs and come out the other side will be heard at a free whanau event tomorrow.

There will be 50 Harley Davidson motorbikes, along with bouncy castles, a barbecue and face painting as part of the event organised by Destiny Church.

The Tour of Duty Gisborne is part of a nationwide movement and new approach to reduce Maori offending.

Former gang member Toko Kopu will be one of four men at the event who will speak as a member of “the X-Men panel”.

He will travel to Gisborne for the event on his Harley Davidson.

Mr Kopu, now 56, was part of a gang for 42 years.

“I’m in God’s gang now,” he says.

It was important, especially for men of all ages, to hear the stories of those who had “been there and done that and come out the other side”.

“That’s the most important part. People have changed their lives, and how did they change it? They wised up.”

Mr Kopu will be joined on the panel by Richard Faavesi, Jay Hepi and David Pouwhare.

The Tour of Duty is at the YMCA from 11am and the X-Men panel members will speak from 2pm.

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