Facebook | Puk Kireka

Reformed Gangster With 'Notorious' Face Tattoo Says It's Hard To Find A Job

A self-proclaimed "mobster" who has recently reformed his life following two stints in jail has spoken out about his desire to start fresh and admits he knows his "Notorious" face tattoo is making it hard to find a job, Daily Mail reported.

Puk Kireka has previously spent a total of five years in jail for violence-related charges.

Facebook | Puk Kireka

The 31-year-old from New Zealand has also struggled with a meth addiction, but says he has been clean following his last incarceration.

Getting clean is no small feat.

Facebook | Puk Kireka

"I was into meth before my last stint in jail," he told Hawkes Bay Today. "But I kicked the habit while in prison and I've been drug-free for the last four years."

Kireka had been involved in mobs since 2008 and tattooed his face to represent his loyalty to his gang.

Facebook | Puk Kireka

The word "notorious", which appears on over half of his face in red and black ink, is in reference to the Mongrel Mob gang's slogan. It's also in the gang's colors.

Kireka is realistic about his opportunities.

Unsplash | Marten Bjork

"I know it will be hard to get a job with my tatts," Kireka said, gesturing to his facial decoration.

As a teenager, Kireka wasn't exactly a model student, or a very dedicated one.

Facebook | Puk Kireka

"I just went to school to eat lunch and play a bit of basketball at lunchtime," he said, adding that he made his first appearance in court at age 16.

He says he's a changed man.

Unsplash | Hunters Race

But Kireka has said his last appearance was in the year 2016 and he hasn't been back since. Kireka is now dedicated to finding a career and turning his life around.

"I will always be a mobster but it's important to show we can have better lifestyles."

Facebook | Puk Kireka

He said he hopes to encourage others who followed the same dark path he did to reform themselves too and pursue better lifestyles.

He has some advice for these people.

Unsplash | Brian Kostiuk - @BriKost

"A lot of them are still drinking and smoking. While they aren't getting into much trouble they are still ruining their lives with their lifestyle."

Although he admits he knows potential employers won't be impressed by his tattoos, he's not going to give up trying to find decent work.

Facebook | Puk Kireka

The father of three has turned his attention to one of his biggest passions in life: sports. He plans on breaking into the sporting industry.

Not necessarily as an athlete.

Unsplash | Meghan Holmes

Kireka has hopes of helping others achieve the same level of fitness he currently boasts after training with gym coach Levi Armstrong. This could be one career where his tattoos might not hold him back.

"Meeting Levi helped turn my life around. I've proved to be an inspiration for other mobsters throughout the country."

Paul Taylor, Hawkes Bay Today

Kireka is due to start a level four Sport and Recreation course at EIT next month, after which point he will gain his diploma and then a degree before securing a job in the sports industry.

Right now he plays rugby for his local club team Tamatea.

Facebook | Puk Kireka

Even while he's on the field, Kireka said he still faces criticism from sports fans who don't appreciate his facial tattoo. However, he just brushes them off and continues to play the sport he loves.

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