Hawke's Bay police are using additional government resources to set up a "gang focus unit" to counter the rising visibility of gang crime in the region.
Police Minister Stuart Nash announced the unit in response to an "enough is enough" ultimatum to the Government by the region's four mayors.
Nash said organised crime and gangs would be a priority for the 114 new officers being deployed to the Eastern District in the next four years, a boost of 27 per cent on top of the current 423.
"I have spoken to the Police District Commander Tania Kura who is setting up a special Gang Focus unit to make use of the extra resources from government."
Nash said there was no indication that crime in itself was on the rise in the region.
"In the year to February 2019, police data for the Eastern District shows the number of victims of crime was down by 7.6 per cent on the previous year."
The region's four mayors and the chairman of the regional council met on Monday to discuss concerns about the confronting rise in the gang population.
They asked to urgently meet with Nash to discuss the issue.
In a joint statement before Nash's response to the Hawke's Bay Today, Alex Walker (CHB), Sandra Hazlehurst (Hastings), Faye White (Napier), Craig Little (Wairoa) and Rex Graham (regional council chairman), said they understood their communities were deeply concerned by the issue.
"Some of the activity taking place across our communities is intimidating and we will not stand for it.
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Chairwoman of the Mayoral Forum Alex Walker said "enough is enough and we need to do something about this".
"We need a wider collective response, both in terms of support from the Government but also from the community who are prepared to stand up and say enough is enough."
She said the solution could also potentially involve gang leadership.
She said the issue of gangs in Hawke's Bay had been something the mayors had been discussing for a long time.
"We are seeing the flow on impact as of some of the gangs are involved with activities around methamphetamine and there is violence and there are other flow on impacts that are happening in our community."
There have been several gang-related incidents in Hawke's Bay in recent weeks.
One recent incident was a takeover of Te Mata Peak for a Mongrel Mob event where police closed the road to members of the public.
Another case saw a man thrown through the window at Hastings Library.
However, Walker said problems extended right across the region, and there were issues happening beyond those that made the front page.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said she found it particularly tragic to see young people turning to gangs.
She said Hastings District Council had youth connectors working with young people to build pathways into training and employment as one way to try to stop them turning to gangs.
"It's offering a really good, positive, way forward for them."
Napier's acting mayor Faye White said she just wanted members of the Hawke's Bay community to feel safe.
"And I think they deserve that, I think that's basically the key.
"We need to take some action and do the right thing for our communities."
She said currently in Napier gang patches were banned from council buildings, but this possibly needed to be extended to other areas as well, such as parks and reserves.
Wairoa mayor Craig Little said they needed to put pressure on gang members.
"When a gang member wakes up every morning, he should be thinking actually it's not that much fun being a gang member.
"Make their lives difficult, that is what I am saying."
He said banning gang patches was one step councils could take.
Nash said, as of Tuesday at 3pm, he had a phone message from Hazlehurst but had not directly heard from the Mayoral Forum.