Waikato mayor Allan Sanson has lashed out at the "morons" who horrifically assaulted a motorist in his district in broad daylight, calling for greater consequences for the gang members behind these senseless attacks.
A fuming Sanson is also warning anxious motorists not to pull over for these gangs' members and, for their own safety, keep driving amid growing concern that they could find themselves in a similar confrontation.
The motorist injured in a gang attack on the Rangiriri section of the Waikato Expressway remains in a critical, but stable condition at Waikato Hospital's ICU today, a Waikato DHB spokesperson confirmed.
Witnesses told the Herald the man pulled his ute over to check on a biker after he clipped one of them to find himself surrounded by a large gang of bikies wearing Tribesmen patches on State Highway 1 near Rangiriri.
Police are now investigating the incident including trawling though footage provided by members of the public to work out the events that led to the man being brutally attacked and left on the side of the road covered in blood.
But Sanson said - from the reports he had seen - the assault appeared to be unprovoked and it was entirely unacceptable that they had nearly killed him.
"Anybody should be able travel on our roads free of that type of action against them for whatever reason... it's a sad day when people are frightened to travel on our roads because of intimidation by what I would outright call just a bunch of morons," he said.
"There is more and more gang violence and there just doesn't seem to be any consequences."
The Government needed to do more, he said.
"At the end of the day people just need to realise don't ever stop for these people just keep going, just keep going. Because the minute you stop you actually endanger yourself. It might be a great thing to do as a good citizen, but in this case from what I understand it cost him a stint in hospital and potentially his life."
Waikato-based National MP David Bennett said the attack was on everyone's mind at the weekend and people were definitely scared the same thing could happen to them.
"People don't expect any of that kind of activity on the road whether it's for a reason or not and people are justifiably upset with seeing that happen, and they are very conscious of what that could mean if they were driving along and something happened to them."
Bennett said those involved in the assault shouldn't have done it in the first place and obviously didn't see any consequences for their actions due to the Government's soft approach to law and order and gangs. He said there needed to repercussion for those who were responsible.
Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate said her "heart sinks" when she hears about another incident putting a blot on the city's or region's reputation.
"There are horrendous things that happen - totally horrendous and no one wants those events in their city, I certainly don't."
While she had not received feedback about this incident, Hamiltonians were generally expressing more concern about safety and wanted to know how it was being reduced.
Southgate was in the early stages of working with Waikato Police area commander inspector Andrea McBeth, as well as Waikato-Tainui and the University of Waikato to look at tackling crime prevention and how all those efforts from various organisations in the community could be better co-ordinated in a bid to reduce some of the crime including ram raids and burglaries.