A number of Black Power members have driven through the central streets of Whakatāne as part of a procession following a tangi for a senior member, understood to be the leader of the gang’s local chapter.
A witness said police were stopping traffic for the gang so they could get through.
It is understood the man had died from a heart attack.
Dozens of motorbikes and vehicles made up the procession. Gang members sitting on the back of utes and hanging outside car windows waved flags and yelled out.
“It was pretty tame actually, just people hanging out windows or on the roof of cars and doing the Black Power sign,” the witness said.
“Lasted a good 15 minutes, loads of cars. Apparently, there were about 300 people at the tangi.”
Other family members watched from the sidelines.
Earlier, police warned bystanders of the procession.
“They said guns might get shot.”
They were told the man was going to be floated down a river on a waka.
Police released a statement earlier today warning the public of disruptions due to the procession.
They said the procession would leave from Wairaka Marae and travel to the urupa on Bunyan Rd between 11am and 12pm.
“Motorists should expect some traffic disruptions if travelling through these areas during this time.”
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