Hastings authorities are calling a meeting with Mongrel Mob leaders over future gang events on Te Mata Peak after a gang patching ceremony on the summit last Saturday was said to have left locals and visitors feeling intimidated.
Video posted on Facebook showed a large group wearing Mongrel Mob jackets in the car park on the mountain near Hastings, with a man making a speech in a loud voice and members of the group chanting and raising their arms at one point.
Councillor Damon Harvey said a concerned resident told him some visitors to Hawke's Bay felt intimidated and were told not to go to the top of the peak.
Today Hastings District Council, Police and the Te Mata Park Trust met to discuss the event and future "safe access" to the peak.
The council says a meeting is now being called with senior gang members, the council and the Te Mata Park Trust in the next couple of days "to further discuss a pragmatic way forward for the future".
Te Mata Park Trust Chairman Mark Devonshire says he expects there'll be "full and frank discussion with the mob".
"I think everyone wants to be able to enjoy our park peacefully and without fear of something untoward happening. And I don't think that's probably intentional. But we don't know, and we need to discuss that collectively," Mr Devonshire told media this afternoon.
"I think the first and the only message is that we need to promote a safe environment."
Asked will the trust be preventing the gang from doing the same thing again, Mr Devonshire said, "It's very hard for a trust board to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the park without physically working with other key stakeholders which are district council and the police."
Hastings District Mayor Sandra Hazelhurst said the park is a public place.
"It's a public space it is a public road. And it's how we manage all groups that want to access the peak and the top access area," she said.
"The way forward is that we will be meeting with our gang leaders to say, 'we're working this through together and we need your cooperation.' And we have very good relationship with the gang leader."
Ms Hazlehurst said police informed the council on Friday that there was going to be a Mongrel Mob event at the top of the peak, "but nobody knew the numbers that were going to be there.
"And so we arranged to ensure everybody - walkers and users of our park - were going to be safe. And the police made a call to close the top of the peak with the support of the trust board and the council who own the public road."
Ms Hazlehurst said she thinks "just over a hundred men, women and children" were at the gang event.
Hawke’s Bay Area Commander Inspector Jeanette Park says following today’s discussion, police are confident "a positive solution can be found".