Hawke's Bay iwi left out of community meeting over rising gang tensions

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Rex Timu had been stood down from his leadership roles in the Mongrel Mob.  Mr Timu has not been 'stood down' and is the Mongrel Mob Hastings National - International President. Newshub regrets the error.

Around 250 Hawke's Bay residents attended a public meeting on Sunday in response to recent gang tensions in the area.

The hui, organised by the police and the city council, was supposed to include all community groups - but iwi say they have been left out of the conversation.

One week on from a clash involving around 40 gang members, residents of the Napier suburb Taradale filed into the town hall in search of answers.

Members of the community are concerned for their safety as the gang tensions escalate into firearms incidents. 

"My family has lived in Taradale for 40 years... this is our patch," one local said.

"We have to have engagement with all groups across our community," Police Minister Stuart Nash addressed the group.

"It's one of the reasons why we're here today."

Iwi kaumātua, Des Ratima, says he's disappointed that local iwi, Ngāti Kahungunu, had not been invited to Sunday's hui.

"It's time people stopped thinking for us, [that] they know what's best for us, and go about constructing a solution with none of us in it," he told Newshub.

He also feels a meeting at a marae would have been more appropriate.  

"Let's talk as warriors, one warrior to another warrior, chief to chief."

The niece of Cherie Kuarangi Kara, Mongrel Mob national administrator, was in a child's car seat that was hit by a shotgun pellet.

"I don't believe there was any intention to shoot a child whatsoever," Kara said.

She says the Mongrel Mob wants to work with iwi as well to find a solution.

"We don't need Government infiltration to sort this out, their systems and ways have not worked. This is why we have this current state of problems. I believe the resources need to be given back to our own whānau hands."

Although the Mongrel Mob turned up, Black Power didn't show - but that didn't stop the search for answers.

"People not patches, whānau not gangs, all need to collectively work together," Hawke's Bay Mayor Kirsten Wise declared.