TODAY |

Simon Bridges tells Mongrel Mob he'll visit chapter once gang patches, guns are handed over

Hundreds gathered tonight at the Tauranga Yacht Club to hear from the National Party and its approach on gangs and violence in the city.

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Gang violence has plagued the area in recent weeks, and many in attendance were fed up. Source: Breakfast

Party leader Simon Bridges called the meeting after months of tension.

He says there are immediate reasons why he’s here including a number of deaths, and has received messages from “many of you”.

When answering questions about how he sees gangs, he says call it a “prejudice” but they aren’t cuddly, whanau related motorcycle clubs.

National proposes banning gang patches in public, new police unit to 'harass gangs'

“All the gangs I’ve seen ... an integral part of what they do is dealing in meth and other drugs and guns,” he says.

National Party talk about gangs, at Tauranga Yacht Club. Source: 1 NEWS

Louise Hutchinson, media liaison for the Waikato Mongrel Mob, again asked Mr Bridges to visit the chapter.

He fired back by saying once the patches and the illegal guns were handed over, he would.

Others referenced the city's port and its possible role in this, and the importation of drugs.

Mr Bridges told the vocal crowd “If I’m Prime Minister I will ban gang patches in public places”.