A mother said she was "scared for [her] life" as she watched an estimated 300 Black Power gang members drive through the central streets of Whakatāne today.
The procession followed a tangi for a senior member, understood to be the leader of the gang's local chapter.
It is understood the man had died from a heart attack.
Police say they issued some fines relating to the event and may issue more.
Dozens of motorbikes and vehicles made up the procession. Gang members sitting on the back of utes and hanging outside car windows waved flags and yelled out.
The mother, who spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post on the condition of anonymity, said she thought "what is going on" when she saw armed police blocking the road on her way to drop her two-and-a-half-year-old son to kindergarten.
She said she was told to move on by several police officers while she watched gang members lying on bonnets, standing on vehicles, and flying flags, including one that said "f*** the police".
The woman said her son was crying as the yelling and shouting was audible through their closed windows. She was "pretty scared for [her] life".
She said she got "very worked up and angry" about the situation as she believed they were breaking the law, and that a convoy like this wouldn't happen for other ceremonies.
She said she believed people had the right to celebrate the lives of loved ones, but it was not fair to block the town's roads and intimidate others.
Another witness said police were stopping traffic for the gang so they could get through.
"It was pretty tame actually, just people hanging out windows or on the roof of cars and doing the Black Power sign," the witness said.
"Lasted a good 15 minutes, loads of cars. Apparently, there were about 300 people at the tangi."
Other family members watched from the sidelines.
Earlier, police warned bystanders of the procession.
"They said guns might get shot."
They were told the man was going to be floated down a river on a waka.
This afternoon a police spokeswoman said police had issued a "small number of fines in relation to a funeral procession in Whakatane today".
Police would be monitoring the event overnight.
"Police will also be reviewing footage taken today and further charges/infringement notices may be considered.
"We will have more accurate information available tomorrow once the funeral has ended."
Police released a statement earlier today warning the public of disruptions due to the procession.
They said the procession would leave from Wairaka Marae and travel to the urupa on Bunyan Rd between 11am and 12pm.
"Motorists should expect some traffic disruptions if travelling through these areas during this time."