The Firm part of Gore tensions

20:38, Apr 02 2014

Racially motivated tensions between the gang known as the Firm and its rivals are playing out in East Gore, police say.

Police prosecutor Denise Harvey told the Gore District Court yesterday there had been a number of "incidents" between the Firm and its rivals in East Gore recently.

The incidents appeared racially motivated and many of the victims were unwilling to lay complaints.

Harvey's comments were made during the sentencing of Jade Maniapoto, 19, who was convicted and discharged of fighting in a public place on February 16.

The court was told Maniapoto and associates had been chased by people seen leaving the Firm headquarters and who were armed with metal bars and accompanied by a mastiff dog.

One of the group challenged Maniapoto to a fight and Maniapoto accepted, sustaining a cut lip during the altercation, Harvey said.

The person who suggested the fight could not be charged, as they had travelled to Australia, she said.

Earlier in the day, there had been another incident on the street between two groups, during which a vehicle had allegedly been struck and a person allegedly assaulted, the court was told.

Judge Christina Cook told Maniapoto there had clearly been some "underlying dynamics", but in similar situations he should leave and not make matters worse.


The Southland Times