The trial of six Whakatāne Black Power gang members has entered its second week in the High Court at Rotorua.

On trial are Benjamin Biddle, Stallone Harawira, Whitu Taipeti, Codie Taitapanui,
Te Reneti Tarau and Taumata Tawhai.

With the exception of Taipeti they have pleaded not guilty to rioting, being members of an organised criminal group, unlawful possession of a firearm, using a firearm against a law enforcement officer and discharging a firearm with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Taipete denies the firearms charges but has admitted the rioting and criminal group charges. He was excused from attending the trial today, Justice Graham Lang telling the jury he had granted him leave to attend to other personal matters.

The Crown's proposed 90-plus witnesses continue to testify. The trial was initially set down for six weeks but indications are it could conclude earlier.

Related articles: