Gang members drive into oncoming traffic at Auckland funeral procession

About 200 gang members on motorbikes thundered past shoppers and people enjoying brunch along Ponsonby Rd in Auckland today.

They were part of a gang funeral procession following a hot rod American classic ute carrying a casket.

One person said a number of patched riders from the Rebels Motorcycle club drove into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road at the popular inner-city destination at about 11am.

A police spokeswoman said there were a few complaints from the public regarding traffic congestion but there were no significant issues reported to police.

Last month, a gang-led tangi in Porirua that led to four arrests had public health experts cautiously asking anyone who attended to get a Covid test.

The funeral procession related to the Mongrel Mob passed through Porirua suburbs, finishing at Whenua Tapu Cemetery in Pukerua Bay.

In a subsequent Ministry of Health Covid-19 case number statement, a request for those involved in the Porirua tangi to get tested was made by Wellington Regional Public Health.

“They are assessed as unlikely to have been infectious as they travelled at the very end of their 14-day quarantine period.

“However, in the absence of fuller information, they are recommending those linked with the tangi to be tested, particularly if they have symptoms.

“Their assessment is that the risks to the wider public are low following reports of a person who had tested positive in Auckland last month and who travelled from Auckland to Porirua,” the ministry said.

In early October, a member of the public reported “complete carnage” as patched gang members accompanying a hearse in Henderson were seen doing burnouts on motorbikes.

At the time, Auckland’s alert level restrictions allowed for no more than 10 people to attend a funeral.

One witness noted: “A hearse drove past with 50 full cars behind it and patched gang members hanging out the cars to gangster music in Te Atatu Peninsula and Henderson.”

Police investigated the funeral procession, but made no arrests.

Police charged 16 gang members in relation to dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour following a large funeral procession in June.

The funeral was for Taranaki Fuimaono, 43, who died in Auckland City Hospital shortly after being arrested.

Gang affiliations around the country seem to be growing at a fast rate, with more than 8000 gang members now officially recorded in New Zealand.

That is almost double the figure recorded by authorities five years ago, when there were 4420 people recorded as gang members on the national gang list.

A total of 8061 gangsters have been identified in New Zealand as of June, according to data given under the Official Information Act to Stuff.

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