Filthy Few want money back

By John Cousins

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Tauranga's Filthy Few Motorcycle Club has won a rare victory over the police but it came too late for the gang to run its annual motorcycle raffle.

The gang has raffled a motorcycle nearly every year for 10 years as part of its Metal Mania custom motorcycle and car show.

Last year, police opposed the gang's raffle application to the Internal Affairs Department, club president Gary "Grub" Keleher said.

On its website, the department said it refused the application because it "was not satisfied the key people [listed in the application] met the requirements of suitability under the act".

Filthy Few's lawyer, Paul Mabey QC, appealed the decision to the Gambling Commission.

His arguments, summarised on the Internal Affairs website, included that "the department gave undue weight to information provided by other government departments".

The club argued the refusal was "unreasonable and wrong".

Mr Keleher said after the commission's legal team looked at the appeal, the department withdrew its decision to decline the application but, by that time, it was too late for the raffle because Metal Mania had been held.

Mr Keleher said the Filthy Few always put a lot of work into the raffle, which was a fund-raiser for the club. .

Questioned whether there was bad blood between the police and the Filthy Few, Mr Keleher said "You will have to ask them that."

During the past 15 months, points of conflict with the policeincluded a public stand-off with rival Tauranga gang the Greasy Dogs, and running an unlicensed bar at its Birch Ave headquarters.

Members of the gang were among those arrested in a two-day drug bust last year that involved the Headhunters, Mongrel Mob, Black Power and Nomads.

Mr Keleher said the police put a dampener on Metal Mania held at TECT Arena on February 18-19 by stopping everyone between the roundabout and the entrance to Baypark.

The Filthy Few had made an application to the commission seeking costs against the department.

The department has so far failed to respond to Bay of Plenty Times Weekend requests for the documents relating to the decision to decline the application and the subsequent withdrawal of the decision.

Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair of the Tauranga Police said Internal Affairs was the lead agency and that was where the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend should seek comment.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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