Gang members at meeting

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Gang members were amongst a crowd of about 300 people at a community meeting last night which aimed to address concerns about a spree of anti-social antics and gang-related activities in the town.

There was a police presence and there were no obvious signs of tension or discord at the meeting, held at Moerewa Primary School.

The venue was so packed that some members of the community were forced to listen to proceedings from the doorway.

A recent rise in local crime and unwelcome behaviour has forced the community of Moerewa to once again show solidarity against things that harm the town.

A community leader said earlier that everyone had been welcome to attend the meeting, which started at 6pm, and which organisers hoped would lead to a community strategy and united voice in dealing with the crime and gang problem.

"It [the meeting] is not specifically about the Rebels or any particular gang, but is a response to concerns raised within the community about an increasing level of gang related problems in Moerewa and the surrounding area," said Pita Tipene, Te Kotahitanga o nga Hapu Ngapuhi co-chairman and Ngati Hine Trust board member.

Meeting organiser Kiri Milne-Heremaia prevented members of the media from attending the meeting. She said the gathering was meant for the community of Moerewa only.

- Northern Advocate

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