Watch: Northland gang members battle it out in boxing ring, but police not keen for Northland bouts to become regular event

Some are calling for a gang-versus-gang fight night which took place in Whangarei on Saturday to become an annual event, saying it was a great success - but police believe it's not a good idea.

The event took place at the Portland Recreation Centre, with 12 gangs putting fighters into the ring in an effort to sort out their differences in that way rather than committing violence on the streets.

Patched members of the Mongrel Mob, Black Power, Headhunters and Stormtroopers all sat in the same room eating crayfish and oysters while the 20 scheduled fights took place.

Commenters in online gang forums have said the event should be held regularly, believing it would have a positive effect.

"This is better then killing each other on the streets I reckon and look at all the brothers sitting and eating all together," wrote one.

Ringside action from the event at Portland near Whangarei on Saturday, July 22. Source: 1 NEWS

"Should be monthly," said another.

Others suggested police themselves put a contender into the ring, but police say they are not interested in encouraging future events.

Inspector Justin Rogers of Whangarei Police told media "we don't think it should be an annual event here in Northland - it's not something that we'd support".

"But certainly if people are going to hold these types of events, the community can be reassured that police will police them pro-actively like today."

Police have confirmed that checkpoints set up outside the event issued a total of 108 infringement notices and four licence suspensions.

Three vehicles were also impounded, one person was caught driving with excess breath alcohol and four people were arrested.

A post in the Motorcycle Clubs New Zealand Facebook page urged gang members to push for a larger event.

"AWESOME outcome apart from all the Police and their bulls*** which is a REAL shame really, being it's for a good cause," the post read.

Ringside action from the event at Portland near Whangarei on Saturday, July 22. Source: 1 NEWS

"To the organisers, PLEASE don't let that/them (the Police) deter you from [a] future Fight Night "Keep it in the Ring" or making it a annual and/or perhaps a NATIONAL event."

New Zealand First Whangarei candidate Shane Jones has taken a much harder tone against the event, saying that gang members were worthless members of society who should be stripped of their civil liberties.

"I genuinely believe that these hardened, money-grubbing p-trading maggots - they deserve none of the civil liberties that our ancestors fought for and define us as an ordered society," Mr Jones said.

He said methamphetamine is at the heart of many gangs and they event was, in his opinion, unlikely to solve anything.

"P is rife ... at the centre of the P trade is the gang menace," Mr Jones said.

"It's not a flash look for Whangarei - Whangarei has got enough challenges without the glorification of gang culture ... and I fear that it will just be a recruitment drive.

"The notion that you can make peace in P-riddled warfare zones by having a boxing match is not only hypocritical - it's slightly creepy.

"I think it's sad that police have to dedicate scarce resources into gang recruitment bling event ... but it's better that they keep an eye on it."



Watch: Mike Hosking - 'Do we need to know what the newsreader earns? No, because who can possibly win out of that?'

Seven Sharp host Mike Hosking says only "people who set out to be offended and upset" would be shocked by TVNZ salaries and there's no reason why employees should be named with their salaries.

Speaking on Newstalk ZB's Mike's Minute, Hosking said that although people who earn over a certain amount should have their pay bracket disclosed, "who the individuals are matters not one jot unless you're a gossip or obsessed with being petty".

He added: "Do we need to know what the newsreader earns? No, because who can possibly win out of that?"

Hosking explained that his salary was paid from advertising from the show he fronted, not from the taxpayer, but that in any case, the negotiation of wages was a private matter between employees and their boss.

"Just imagine if my salary was made public? Can you imagine the reaction, very little of which would be rational.

"...'how hard can it be', they would say, 'to sit and talk for a couple of hours a day?' When that's the level of debate, the debate is going nowhere fast. Therefore, it is not worth having."

His comments were responding to prominent radio host Marcus Lush, who on his ZB talkback show, remarked: "I think if the salaries were revealed people would be to a large degree horrified".

"They would say things like how hard could it be to read from the autocue for 44 minutes a day... and some of those queries and concerns would be totally justified."

Lush's remarks were reacting to the BBC pay crisis, with the identities of staff earning over 150,000GBP (NZ$260,000) revealed, showing a significant gap in gender pay equality.

Responding to questions, TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick said pay at TVNZ was "based on performance" and that staff names and salaries would not be revealed.




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Watch: 'It might be misinterpreted in Glasgow' - Boris Johnson makes colourful quip after hongi experience in Kaikoura

Britain's flamboyant Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson worked the Kaikoura crowd this morning as he thanked the locals for looking after British tourists who were caught up in the devastating earthquake. 

The UK Foreign Secretary charmed the locals during a visit to Kaikoura today. Source: 1 NEWS

Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London, arrived yesterday and joked with the crowd after learning how to hongi on a marae. 

"Thank you for teaching me the hongi, which I think is a beautiful form of introduction (but) which might be misinterpreted in a pub in Glasgow," he said to a laughing audience. 

A Glasgow Kiss is a term for a heat butt.

He is making his first official visit and is currently thanking people of Kaikoura for helping Brits trapped by quake. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Johnson described New Zealand as the "most mind-blowingly, mind numbingly beautiful country I've every seen", saying he was ashamed it had taken him this long to visit. 

"And the only landscape I can think of that can... do justice to the imagination of JRR Tolkien in Lord of the Rings.

"I can see why it attracted those tourists... who were here last November when the Kaikoura earthquake struck.

"All I want is to say thank you... from the bottom of my heart for your kindness and the way you reached out to them and the way you looked after them," he said to the audience. 

"I have no doubt, that because of the kindness and the generosity that were shown by the people of this community, the word is going to spread, across the planet and you will find more and more people will want to come to this beautiful country."

Mr Johnson is in New Zealand on a two-day visit and will meet with PM Bill English and Labour's Andrew Little.

He will unveil the British War Memorial at the Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington tommorow, before heading to Sydney.


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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS