Police Minister Stuart Nash is urging Hawke's Bay retailers to report when gang members try to purchase big ticket items with cash, as the region attempts to clamp down on gang activity.
But some shops aren't convinced this would have any effect at all on gangs.
Nash, who met with the region's four mayors, and Eastern District Commander Superintendent Tania Kura this week, said they all agreed to work together to really make a difference.
"Our councils are working hard to enforce a ban on people wearing gang patches from their buildings and facilities. But we also need members of the public to call and report any suspicious activity."
That included retailers, Nash said.
"Use either the 105 (ten-five) non-emergency number or anonymously through crime stoppers (0800 555111).
"Don't just look the other way or take a 'see-no-evil' approach. Only by working as a community can we reclaim our communities."
Hastings Business Association chairman, Craig Riddiford says he isn't aware of it being an issue and has his "doubts" about whether the idea of reporting dirty money would hobble gangs.
He questioned how retailers were meant to get evidence of it, if the situation arose.
"I doubt people would turn down a sale because someone refused to tell them what their name was.
"Gangs are a big problem, but it is putting more compliance on small business owners that are already doing a lot of compliance for the government."
Mercedes Benz Hawke's Bay sales consultant Jon Brady said he could only recall one occasion when gang members came in looking to purchase a car.
However, he said with such strict anti-money laundering laws, cash is a "thing of the past".
"We would probably not accept more than $6k in cash because to be fair, the clients that we have here will just transfer the money, or give us a personal cheque.
"So anybody who's trying to spend any cash with us in large amounts like that always gets the sideways glance," Brady said.
"And if it goes to the bank, the bank wants to know where the money came from and it all gets very messy."
Two weeks ago an "enough is enough" ultimatum was sent to the Government by the region's mayors, and in response a "gang focus unit" has been set up.
Central Hawke's Bay mayor and chairwoman of the Mayoral Forum, Alex Walker said the meeting with mayors and Nash was constructive.
"He and the officials listened and heard loud and clear," she said.
"All of us, councils, and the agencies want to work more closely together on this issue because we understand it concerns all of us and it concerns the community and how do we work together."
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the city would not tolerate gang intimidation but felt "powerless" to stop gang presence in public places in the city under current legislation.