The deaths of five gang members in Northland over the past year has drawn the various gangs together for a "fight night" to stop the bloodshed.
Members of the Mongrel Mob, Head Hunters, Black Power, Nomad and Mangu Kaha met in Otangarei today to discuss the fight night and pay respects to a fallen gang member.
The gang members, most of who will fight against each other next month, gathered at the site where Head Hunter gang member 25-year-old Moses Noor Mahanga died of a gunshot wound while he sat in a car on William Jones Dr in October last year.
The boxing event to be held next month has a catch cry of "Leave it in the ring".
Event spokesman and ex-gang member Tokomauri Hoterene, of Otangarei, said there had been enough blood shed and it was time the gangs came together and showed unity.
"This event is where we can do that. We want to get people aware there are better ways than just shooting each other. There are better ways to settle disputes and ensuring whanau go home to their whanau."He was aware there would be sceptics.
"It's about us coming together as a collective, showing unity. Not everybody is going to agree but for those who do agree it will mean less blood shed. Every individual will have their own opinion."
He added: "In order to change there first must be change."
Gang-related deaths in Northland in the last year include the death of Kimble Moore in Kaitaia. His body was found six months after he was reported missing. The 48-year-old was a member of the Tribesmen.
The first homicide investigation of the year began on New Year's Day, after the death of Kaitaia man Lee Rata in hospital.
Mr Rata was attacked and badly beaten in Bonnett Rd, in the town the previous night. Lester Pairama, 17, Christopher Mana Manuel, 36, Juanita Rafael Wilcox, 26, and Joseph Martin, 41, all of Moerewa, and members or associates of the Mongrel Mob, have been jointly charged with murder.
Head Hunter gang member 25-year-old Moses Noor Mahanga died of a gunshot wound while he sat in a car on William Jones Dr in October last year.
Two weeks later John Harris, also known as John Boy, from Horeke, was driven by two men to the St John Ambulance station with a gunshot wound to his chest. He died before he could be transported to Whangarei Hospital.