Police have taken action against people who behaved badly during a tangi procession in Porirua on Wednesday.
Kāpiti-Mana Police Inspector Nick Thom said four people have been arrested, two vehicles have been impounded, 27 fines issued, five driver licences suspended, and one person has been summonsed to court.
The 200-vehicle procession caused some disruption to traffic flows, as it passed through Cannons Creek, Waitangirua, Ascot Park, Tītahi Bay, and the centre of the city, on Wednesday afternoon, Thom said.
The group travelled along State Highway 1 to Whenua Tapu cemetery in Pukerua Bay to farewell 35-year-old Terry Taiapa, who died in a motorcycle crash last week.
Police received eight complaints from the public about the procession, including two of burnouts.
Thom said police also witnessed a burnout.
“Police are thanking the people of Porirua for their patience during a Mongrel Mob tangi procession yesterday.
“There was a significant police presence during the procession to ensure public safety.
“Police are continuing to make inquiries to identify offences,” he said.
A police spokeswoman said resources were pulled from across the region to help with the event.
Traffic management was in place and Māori wardens directed traffic out of a street where more than 50 people gathered prior to the procession.
Thom said earlier police respected the mourners’ wish to grieve and urged those involved to be considerate of other road users and adhere to alert level restrictions.
Under alert level 2 guidelines no more than 100 people are allowed to attend a funeral or tangi and organisers must legally record attendees to make sure contact tracing can happen, if needed.
National Party MP and police spokesman Simeon Brown said the disruption to the public was unacceptable.
“This is the second large gang event in Porirua in less than a month to cause significant disruption to local residents. New Zealanders are tired of gangs being able to do whatever they want while the Government facilitates their behaviour.
“Everyone is entitled to grieve loved ones but that right does not come at the expense of the safety of others. So far this gang funeral has already blocked roads for hours, seen gang members dropping wheelies and even blocking entire streets.”
On Tuesday night, a poroporoaki service, a farewell speech in Māori culture, was held at a home in Cannons Creek for Taiapa.
Porirua mayor Anita Baker described behaviour at the event as “disrespectful”, and said noise and burnouts disturbed nearby residents.
The service resulted in the street being blocked for hours by cars and people, and was eventually cleared by police.
“They took it out on to the road in front of where the house was, and it went on all hours, they blocked the road. It is not acceptable, dropping wheelies and blocking streets,” she said.
Police confirmed they attended and vehicles dispersed, after receiving a report of traffic offending about 9.30pm and one of wilful damage to a door about 10.10pm. Both reports reference a group gathered for a tangi.
Another report at 8.15pm of people and vehicles blocking a street may have also been related to the tangi, a police spokesman said.
As a result of the event, police handed out 50 fines for riding dangerously on a vehicle, impounded four vehicles and arrested two people.