Ex-Black Power/Mangu Kaha member Martin Kaipo knows all too well that being embroiled in Northland's gang scene is involving yourself with methamphetamine, one of the biggest contributors to the region's social woes.
But things are a lot scarier in today's gang society than they were in his day.
Mr Kaipo told 1 News today that in his day, you knew who was the enemy and where your loyalties were.
"Now, you don't know who's loyal to what," he said.
"It's major up here and it's around the drug trade. There's consistently smaller bulk methamphetamine being produced, and it's way cheaper to make a fortune."
Current Black Power/Mangu Kaha leader Thomas Rauahi says the violence up north has nothing to do with gang retaliation.
"When you run out of P, some people go out of their way to find it, whether it's standovers or other forms of violence," he said.
"Millions can be made (selling P)... you can make a lot of money out of selling; it's all about feeding the problem."
Both men agreed the meth industry, which Mr Rauahi said was worth more than $1.5 billion, was the root of the problem throughout Northland and the Far North.
Their comments come after the death of a Tribesman gang member, who died shortly after being dropped off at the Whangarei St John Ambulance station yesterday in a critical condition
Northland police say the death may be the result of an internal dispute within the gang.
Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said the incident, where the gang member died after being shot in the chest, may have also been over a vehicle.
Mr Burke says police have now identified the victim as 37-year-old John Henry Harris, also known as John Boy.
Two addresses - one in central Whangarei and another north of Whangarei - are also of interest to the police.
"Based on our inquiries to date, we believe this incident was gang-related and for that reason we do not believe there is any on-going risk to members of the public," police say.
"However, identifying and locating the person or persons involved in this incident remains our number one priority.
"We can also confirm that this incident is not connected to the [alleged] murder of Moses Mahanga that occurred on Tuesday 4 October."
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