A series of meetings are under way to help stem escalating gang violence in South Auckland.

The first was held in an Otara gym on Saturday and the second was planned for Nga Tapuwae Community Centre, Manukau, on Saturday.

Manukau district councillor James Papali'i said he would talk to rugby star Jonah Lomu and broadcaster and former MP Willie Jackson this week, hoping to get them to speak to the gang leaders at the meeting, dubbed the Mangere Peace Conference.

The meetings follow an October 14 brawl where three teenagers were attacked by a gang near Aorere Park in Mangere, leaving a 16-year-old partially paralysed and 11 teenagers facing charges.

Gang violence at Flat Bush, Otara, on October 23 left an 18-year-old fighting for his life, a 17-year-old seriously injured and culminated in the murder of Iulio Naea Kilepoa, a gang member's father.

A 19-year-old Flat Bush teenager is due to reappear in the Manukau District Court on Wednesday charged with his murder.

Mr Kilepoa's 17-year-old son, youth gang member George Naea, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with the attempted murder of the two injured teens.

Otara youth worker Sully Paea said about nine members from opposing gangs turned up to the meeting at Otara.

"They want to know what's in it for them. If we take them out of what they're doing, what have we got to offer," Mr Paea said.

He said the meeting started a dialogue between the groups which would be worked on in coming weeks. The low turn-out followed last weekend's violence - "everybody is laying pretty low".

"The problem is we haven't been listening to our youth. It's time to say we do have an issue and recognise that this is a problem that one person or one individual cannot solve alone, that's what we have done."

The meeting on Saturday will see a series of workshops run although the exact format was still being decided.

"It's really just a beginning - it's calling a truce as well," Mr Papali'i said.

It is estimated 245 young people in the Otahuhu/ Mangere/Papatoetoe area belonged to 53 gangs in six main groups including Black Power, King Cobras and Tribesmen.

And police believed there were similar numbers in the Otara/Flat Bush area.

Mr Papali'i said the focus was on Mangere, but as time went on the areas may come together for meetings.

He said the conference was "open door".

"It's their [gang members'] brothers, cousins. If we have an open thing, every youth in Mangere that lives in the neighbourhood can come along."

Gangs of Auckland


* Bloods and Crips: Taking the names of those real Los Angeles gangs, the Bloods and the Crips spawn umbrella groups.

* J.C.B. - Junior Crip Boys: Otahuhu-based gang linked to two serious assaults, including the weekend bashing of two youths in Flat Bush.

* G.B.F. - Gambino Family: A "street crew" that claims to have 30 to 50 members. Based around the Otara area.

* T.N.S. - Thugs Not Soldiers: Otahuhu-based youth gang that claims to have 60 to 70 members, who have to prove themselves by picking out a person in the street and fighting them.

* B.D.B. - Better Dan Before: Exclusive female gang in South Auckland. Leader "Miss Chingy" told a local paper her group was formed to offer girls protection." If trouble comes to us we fight back," she told the Manukau Courier.

* Y.E.S. - Young East Siders: East Auckland gang allegedly behind a $50,000 burglary spree around Glen Innes and Panmure last year. Police then said the gang had about 25 members but a crackdown on the ringleaders has seen Y.E.S. go quiet.

* D.M.S. - Drugs Money Sex: One of the two main Avondale street gangs.

* J.D.K. - Junior Don Kings: The rival gang to D.M.S. Both have umbrella groups.

* T.O.C. - Thugs of Canal: Gang members that come from around Canal St in Avondale.