Gang rivalry erupts in Whakatane

By Taroi Black

A huge police contingent has been called to Whakatāne to deal with a confrontation between the Black Power and Mongrel Mob this afternoon.

Approximately 15 police officers, as well as the Armed Offenders Squad from Tauranga and Rotorua, have been involved in monitoring the procession. It's believed the stand-off comes after a fight which erupted outside a funeral home at Whakatāne on Friday evening.

A motorcade of more than 100 cars carrying Mongrel Mob members left a funeral at Kawerau at around 1pm today and travelled through Tāneatua heading to Whakatāne. At around 4pm, shots were fired near the corner of Valley and Arawa roads.

The procession has now reached its destination at Hillcrest Crematorium and police have closed the entrance to Awatapu Drive, which will prevent anyone else from entering.

Police have since arrested several people and are still monitoring the situation.