Australian outlaw motorcycle club the Comanchero may be developing a following in New Zealand.

A photo posted to the social media page Gangs of New Zealand on Wednesday shows a group of five men, two of whom have Comanchero paraphernalia.

The caption reads: "Comanchero New Zealand. Making moves here in Aotearoa. Respect."

Police have been approached for comment about the photo.


Australian media reports suggest William George "Jock" Ross founded the Comanchero in Sydney during 1968, and named the gang after the 1961 John Wayne western film The Comancheros.

An American version of the gang was also already established in California, and was first mentioned in 1965 in an article by Hunter S Thompson in the magazine The Nation.

The Comanchero have a rivalry with the Hells Angels and Bandidos gangs.

Police Association president Chris Cahill said this year that the arrival of deportees from Australia had increased the presence of overseas gangs in the country.

"We're getting some key Australian gang figures from big gangs like the Comancheros and Bandidos," he said.

"They're able to add a level of professionalisation to those gangs that we haven't seen before."

Today he told Newstalk ZB that the photo was "very likely linked" to some of the deportations.

"We know the Australian government [has] targeted senior gang members that are New Zealand citizens and have deported a number of them," he said.


Cahill said a lot of the deportees have no links to New Zealand and a gang "gives them some ownership".

"New Zealand's a relatively small place, there's only so much criminal activity and money that can be made out of drugs - which is a gang's main form of money - so that leads to competition and with these gangs that can lead to violence and sooner or later that will spill over into the public."

He said the Comancheros were well-known for their confrontations with other gangs in Australia.

Famously, Rebels motorcycle club gang member Mehaka Lee Te Puia was deported from Australia in September despite winning a landmark case against Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton.

Te Puia, a New Zealand citizen, had been a resident of Australia since May 2005 but his temporary visa was cancelled by Dutton in October 2015 on the grounds that the Kiwi failed the character test and that it was in the "national interest".

He was never charged with a criminal offence and was held in a Perth immigration detention centre.


Te Puia, claiming the cancellation was unconstitutional, won his case against the minister in the High Court - Australia's top court - with the judges ruling the minister's decision to cancel Te Puia's visa was invalid. They also said the minister could not use "protected information" from confidential or intelligence sources to cancel a visa on character grounds.

But just hours after the ruling he was again arrested, his visa cancelled, and deported back to New Zealand on September 15.

Two days before the decision Australian legislators had passed a law validating visa cancellations that were made using protected information.

Rebels boss AJ Graham returned to New Zealand after having his Australian visa revoked for a third time. Photo / News Corp
Rebels boss AJ Graham returned to New Zealand after having his Australian visa revoked for a third time. Photo / News Corp

The founder of the Rebels in Tasmania, AJ Graham, was also part of the winning case.

The New Zealand citizen, who had lived in Australia since 1976, returned voluntarily to Auckland in October after having his visa cancelled for the third time.

And last year Shane Martin, the father of Richmond AFL star Dustin Martin, was deported back to New Zealand because of his links to the Rebels.


He missed his son's grand final, Norm Smith Medal, and Brownlow Medal wins this year.

However, this month Dutton conceded a legal error was made to deport Martin and he was likely to be allowed back into Australia.

Martin was also deported based on confidential information from Australia's intelligence agencies.

- Additional reporting Daniel Walker