The threat of Australia's largest outlawed motorcycle gang setting up camp in New Zealand has prompted police to request Wanganui District Council to include the gang it is gang-patch ban bylaw.
It was revealed last week that The Rebels MC, with a reported 2000 Australian members, has been looking to expand into New Zealand. The Australian government considers them a criminal organisation.
New Zealand police said that the gang was involved in serious violence, and the manufacture and trafficking of drugs.
Wanganui District Council on Monday moved to have the city's gang-patch bylaw amended to include the Rebels gang after Whanganui police area commander Inspector Duncan MacLeod asked the council to help the police stop the Rebels setting up in Whanganui, the Wanganui Chronicle reported.
The city's council bylaw, passed in 2009, lists 10 gangs whose patches are banned from public places in Whanganui.
Mr Macleod said there was a suggestion the Rebels were targeting Tribesmen members, whose patches were banned under the bylaw.
The public must be consulted and the proposed amendment returned to the council for approval, a process councillors unanimously agreed to start.
Police Minister Judith Collins said last week a very clear message needed to be sent to crime gangs from Australia and elsewhere they were not welcome in New Zealand.
"Efforts by these gangs to set up shop and begin their criminal activities in New Zealand will meet with a very firm response from police and Ofcanz (the Organised and Financial Crime Agency) who will work with other government agencies.