Gangs have been quite a problem in NZ for some time. Some towns acknowledge they have an issue and take steps to control gang activities – for example Wanganui recently banned the wearing of patches – “There are people in Wanganui who will say we don’t have a gang problem, but the fact is there is a gang problem in Wanganui, just as there is in other towns and cities,” says senior councillor Randhir Dahya.“
On the other hand some towns and cities have tried so valiantly to rid themselves of the problem that they now have another problem with admitting gang involvement in crimes when it does occur. Gangs are now euphemistically called “rival groups”.
Aug – The police association renewed calls for police to be armed following the second gang related shooting in seven years in the Palmerston North suburb of Highbury
June – Tuari Damyn Karipa–Rangi pleads guilty in the robbery and assault of two men in Christchurch. The gang associated with the violent mugging is named as the YSK – Young Skuxx Klicxx at youth street gang with 10-20 members
June – ‘Two bashed in gang turf clash’ -Two patched Mongrel Mob members were set upon and beaten up by at least four rival gang members in the car park of the Tamatea Pak’nSave supermarket at 3.45 in the afternoon.
June – Gang violence out of control in New Zealand – In the Hawkes Bay region of the North Island, police say it is a matter of pure luck that they are not dealing with multiple murders after members of a local gang chapter tore apart a 21st birthday party, using knives, baseball bats and a machete.
Feb – “Gang life is one of petty terrorism, violence and hatred” Said Wellington’s mayor after the gang related drive-by shooting in which three year old Jhia Te Tua died in her parents’ home. Gangs involved were Black Power and Mongrel Mob.
Feb – “The danger of serious youth violence is increasing as juvenile gangs take up weapons, Hastings’ top police officer has warned. In a police crime report to be discussed by city leaders, Inspector Dean Clifford says the suburb of Flaxmere has between 13 and 15 gangs for just 10,300 residents.”
Feb – “Mayors play down gang problem after brawls – Brawls in Wairoa and Gisborne including one between Black Power and Mongrel Mob members, resulted in arrests at the weekend but local mayors are defending their area, saying it does not have a gang problem”