Notorious New Zealand Gangs Plan 'Fight Club' to Relieve Tensions

Notorious New Zealand Gangs Plan 'Fight Club' to Relieve Tensions

Hundreds of gang members in New Zealand are preparing for the inaugural “fight club” – an organised boxing match between rival gangs that leaders hope will present a safe way to vent simmering tensions.

Some 60 rival gang members from some of New Zealand’s most notorious chapters – including Black Power, Head Hunters and Nomads – will face off at a Whangarei community centre on Saturday night. It is the fourth choice of venue after three other options pulled out of the controversial event.

Former gang member and event organiser Tokomauri Hoterene said a spate of gang killings in Northland on the North Island in 2016 had brought gang tensions in his region to new highs.

There are ten different gangs in Northland and Hoterene said 80% of the violence is related to disputes over drugs.

Hoterene and his fellow organisers hope some of the lingering anger can be punched out in the boxing ring, but its been a challenge to get venues and some members of the community on board.

“As soon as anybody hear’s gang – boom – shuts down. We went through three venues till we actually found one ... we are looking at doing this properly, it has to be controlled because we want this to continue,” Hoterene told Maori Television.

 

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/19/notorious-new-zealand-gangs-plan-fight-club-to-work-out-grievances

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