Two men have been sentenced for the part they played in the rioting in Whakatāne in January last year.

Andre Ata and Anthony James Ohlson appeared in the High Court at Rotorua today . Both faced a charge of rioting and Ata faced a second charge of possession of an offensive weapon.

Ata was sentenced to four months' home detention while Ohlson was sentenced to six months' community detention and 150 hours' community work and nine months' supervision.

The charges related to events on January 17, 2017, the day of a funeral procession for Mongrel Mob member Tahu Kingi.


Justice Graham Lang said members of Black Power learned of the funeral procession and gathered at points around Whakatāne.

According to the summary of facts Ohlson, 30, and Ata were among 30 patched Black Power gang members who congregated at the Whakatāne Bridge to meet the procession, but the procession entered town via a different route.

"You were then part of a group that gathered in a service lane. You used the cover of bushes to throw missiles like rocks, sticks and bottles at the cars in the procession," Justice Lang said.

He said the offending had potential to "cause significant ramifications".

"You [Ata] were carrying a butcher's knife in a sheath. You explained this was a work knife carried for protection."

Some of the others involved in the January 17 events were on trial in July and will be sentenced at the end of this month, while others have already been sentenced on several different charges.