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

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1 NEWS

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.

"Should be monthly," said another.

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

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.

"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."

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

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."

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