Dirt bike riders causing chaos on Auckland's roads working as drug couriers for gangs, police intelligence reveals

Police intelligence reveals dirt bike riders causing chaos on Auckland's roads are working as drug couriers for gangs - with officers dubbing the service "dial-a-tinnie". 

It's the most explicit evidence yet that some riders - linked to a phenomenon known internationally as Bikelife - have strong links to organised crime. 

It comes alongside growing community concern, with south Auckland leaders saying riders continue to damage council-owned parks and intimidate locals. 

Newshub's obtained previously unreported sections of police files, showing a police operation targeting the illegal activity, finding 23 percent of 105 identified dirt bike riders had gang associations, specifically with the Killer Beez.  

Six were patched members. 

Dirt bike riders causing chaos on Auckland's roads working as drug couriers for gangs, police intelligence reveals
Photo credit: NZ Police

Long-serving Manukau Ward councillor Alf Filipaina said the associations were "obvious" to people living in Ōtara in particular.  

"[I'm] not surprised that the gangs are involved and we saw that, I think, when you reported a few months ago in Ōtara. So not surprised," he said, referring to a Newshub story earlier this year. 

The police files reveal Killer Beez recruitment has been linked to a Facebook page called Street Bikelife. Posts are said to include patching ceremonies, alongside the instruction to "join up". 

Some riders already have. 

"Dirt bike riders have been identified as drug (cannabis) couriers ('dial-a-tinnies') on behalf of local gangs. This is likely to include Killer Beez and Tribesmen Motorcycle Club (MC) in their stronghold of Ōtara," the files reveal. 

"It is not known how prevalent or organised this activity is, but it has occurred for a number of years. Dirt bikes are frequently seen at known drug and gang houses." 

It accompanies growing community concern about riders accessing public parks and facilities. 

"The added disappointment I think from the community's perspective... is the damage that it causes when they end up doing what they're doing," Filipaina said. 

In Papakura, local board chair Brent Catchpole told Newshub his community feel "threatened" whenever the riders are around. 

Catchpole personally approached the riders, an action he quickly regretted. 

"I have tried talking to them before [and] it was quite a frightening experience," he said. "I suddenly realised the mistake when they stood up to me and I just backed off and jumped back in my car and left." 

Police would not be interviewed for this story, but in a statement said their operation targets dangerous and nuisance riding.  

"The focus of this ongoing operation is not in relation to organised crime groups or drug trafficking, but about the behaviours of the people on these dirt bikes and the risks posed to the wider public," a spokesperson said. 

"As we have mentioned in the past, not all dirt bike riders are associated with gangs. Police are aware of the narrative around some dirt bike riders; however we will not be drawn on this." 

But the police files are black and white, revealing the dirt bike scene appears to be a breeding ground for organised crime.