Two Northlanders have been sentenced to community detention for the involvement in a riot in which police cars were damaged and people pepper-sprayed.

James Herbert, 55, and Ted Katane Kemp, 23, pleaded guilty to rioting and appeared for sentencing in the Whangārei District Court this week.

The duo were among more than 30 people who gathered William Jones Dr outside a house on the corner of William Jones Dr and Matai St, in the Whangārei suburb of Otangarei, on March 9 last year, after an alleged family violence incident.

The large mob of males were seeking retribution after an associate of their had been stabbed in the head and was taken to Whangārei Hospital in a serious condition.


Nine police officers arrived at the scene, including a Māori liaison officer, who attempted to dissuade the mob from using violence.

Because of the increasingly hostile and aggressive nature of the mob, police decided to move a male suspect from a house into a waiting patrol car.

As they were doing that, Herbert, Kemp and other people started yelling obscenities and challenged officers for "one outs" while throwing items at them.

Herbert and Kemp were sentenced to two months' community detention.

Three others involved in the riot, Kalani Petera, 21, Shaquille Orsmby, 20, and Poasa Rankin, 24, were earlier sentenced to three months' community detention.

Another person, Dominique Ormsby, who landed a "coward's punch" to the back of a policeman's head received four months' home detention late last year after pleading guilty to charges of rioting and assault with intent to injure.

The detective sergeant he assaulted suffered soreness to the back of his head, while a senior constable had eye irritation from glass dust and required medical treatment.

A police patrol car sustained extensive damage during the rioting.


Two others have pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury.