Former meth cook opens art gallery 4 months after leaving prison

A former Northland meth cook is refusing to let his past define his future.

Just four months after being released from prison, Mark Lang is opening his own art gallery in Dargaville, with his first exhibition on display this weekend.

His gallery is named the Tika Pono Toi Gallery and Studio, which means truth, honesty and integrity.

Lang’s change in lifestyle came about through, “learning all my whakapapa, delving into the spiritual world of Māoridom, that was the big shift for me.”

The former engineer turned to manufacturing methamphetamine as a way to pay for his habit after becoming addicted to the drug.


His operation was shut down in a police bust and he was sentenced to 14 years in jail on drug charges, but was released after seven.

While he was there, he learnt to carve, studied business, and made plans to open his own art gallery.

He did so with help of The Generator, an organisation that helps make peoples dreams come through with the help of funding, mentorship and collaboration.

Mark Lang spent seven years in jail for making methamphetamine.

Therese Ireland from The Generator explained how they helped change Lang’s life.

“So we helped him develop his plan, then we give him the resources, the things he needs to be able to do if he’s going to be running a business – so all the financial systems that he needs to set up.”

Lang said his next steps will be to work with local iwi to set up a carving class for youth and help enhance their mana.


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