Gang tensions mount in Bay of Plenty
Police are treating the death of a gang member, who was knocked off his motorcycle in the Bay of Plenty, as a homicide.
It is understood Don Henry Turei Junior was chased by Mongrel Mob members before being killed after a fall from his bike.
Area Commander Inspector Kevin Taylor said the fatal crash was under a homicide inquiry, and confirmed there were rising gang tensions in the area.
Turei had links with the Tribesmen and had been at family wedding in Raukokore, near Te Kaha, and was travelling by motorbike to the reception alongside his brother.
The pair passed by Pararaki Marae, where Mongrel Mob members from across the North Island had gathered for the unveiling of a plaque, a source, who did not want to be named, said.
The source said mobsters at the marae chased the pair.
The source said four or five car loads of Mobsters chased other Tribesmen, who were also travelling through the area on motorbikes, to a petrol station in Tirohanga.
Another source confirmed there had been an altercation between the two gangs on Saturday afternoon.
It is believed Turei was hit by a white Honda Odyssey-type van, which immediately left the scene of the crash, field crime manager Detective Inspector Lewis Warner said.
Police are appealing for any information or witnesses to the crash, which was about 2-3pm on Saturday.
The white honda was found burnt out on the bank of the Raukokore River.
Warner would not confirm the details of the weekend's events, saying it would jeopardise the investigations.