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Gangs in New Zealand: Map


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There are numerous gangs in New Zealand, of varying criminality, organisation and ethnicity. According to the New Zealand Police, the three most prominent New Zealand gangs are Black Power (not related to the African-American movement); the Mongrel Mob, and the Nomads. Other gangs are prominent in particular areas, for example the Junior Don Kings (JDK) and Dope Money Sex (DMS) in Central Aucklandmarker.

According to the book Gangs by Ross Kemp, New Zealand has more gangs per head then any other country in the world, with about seventy major gangs and over 4,000 patched members in a population of about 4,000,000 people.

According to sociologist Jarrod Gilbert, New Zealand has had problems with youth and street gangs since the 1950s. However organised crime gangs such as those which currently dominate the New Zealand scene mostly date from the 1970s. 'Gangsta' style gangs have been a presence in New Zealand since the early 1990s but individual gangs of this type are typically short lived. New Zealand gangs have generally been heavily influenced by their Americanmarker counterparts. Although Black Power takes its name from the black liberation movement of the same name, in many ways it and similar gangs are much more akin to white American motorcycle gangs such as the Hell's Angels. Since the early 1990s newer gangs have primarily been influenced by African American street gangs such as the Crips and Bloods.

Gang members are a minority of New Zealand criminals. A New Zealand Ministry of Justice study showed that in 1991 just under 80% of prison inmates had no gang history, and just over 90% had no current gang membership. Of the prison population, 4% were members of the Mongrel Mob and 4.3% former members, while 3.6% were current and 3.2% former members of Black Power. No other gang had more than one percent of the prison population. A similar study in 2003 showed that 11.3% of prison inmates were gang members. Of these, about a third each were Mongrel Mob or Black Power, with no other gangs having more than 5% of the imprisoned gang population.

Highway 61 members in Wellington, New Zealand

Prominent gangs

Black Power

Black Power was formed in the late 1960s in Whakatanemarker, and its membership is primarily Māori and Pacific Islander. It has been involved with various kinds of crime, particularly drug dealing. Its symbol is the clenched fist of the American black power movement, and its colours are blue and black.

Hells Angels MC

The Hells Angels motorcycle club founded a chapter in Auckland in 1961 and has since taken over gangs in Wanganui. New Zealand had the first chapter of the Hells Angels outside the US.

Highway 61 MC

The Highway 61 motorcycle club is currently the largest outlaw motorcycle club in New Zealand. The motorcycle club currently has chapters in Aucklandmarker, Hastings, Rotorua, Wellingtonmarker, Christchurch and also Sydneymarker, Australia.. By 2008 it had expanded into Brisbanemarker and the Gold Coast in eastern Australia.

Mongrel Mob

The Mongrel Mob was formed and organised in Hastingsmarker about 1968 and, like its Black Power rivals, is primarily Māori and Pacific Islander. The gang has been active in organised crime and has been involved in several murders. Its symbol is a bulldog wearing a Germanmarker Stahlhelm helmet, and the gang makes use of other Nazi imagery. Their colours are red and black. The Mongrel Mob is currently the biggest gang in New Zealand.


In 1977 the Nomads split from Black Power.

Road Knights MC

The Road Knights motorcycle club operates in the South Island.

They are based in Invercargill, Timaru and Christchurch.

The gang has ties with the Hells Angels, Red Devils and the Harris Gang and are rivals with the Mongrel Mob.

Tribesmen MC

The Tribesmen is a prominently Māori motorcycle club formed in the 1980s in Otaramarker. It is connected to the Killerbeez youth street gang.

Other gangs

Motorcycle Gangs
  • Devil's Henchmen MC (Christchurch and Timaru) - the original South Island outlaw motorcycle club, formed in Timaru in the 1970s
  • Epitaph Riders MC (Christchurch and Greymouth)
  • Filthy Few MC (Tauranga, Rotorua, Waihi and Matamata)
  • Forty Five MC (Auckland)
  • Greasy Dogs (Mount Maunganui)
  • Headhunters MC (Auckland, Wellsford, Northland and Tauranga)
  • Huhu MC (Tokoroa), started as a largely bush crew from the early 1950s, MC in the early 1970s.
  • Lone Legion MC (Blenheim)
  • Lost Breed MC (Nelson)
  • Magogs MC (New Plymouth)
  • Mothers MC (Palmerston North)
  • Outcasts MC (Hamilton)
  • Outlaws MC (Napier)
  • Red Devils MC (Nelson)
  • Satans Slaves MC (Wellington)
  • Sinn Fein MC (Upper Hutt)
  • Southern Vikings MC (Dunedin)
  • Templars MC (Christchurch)
  • Tyrants MC (Pahiatua)
  • Ara Toa Whanau MC (Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Heretaunga)

Ethnic Gangs
  • Hammerskins (Nationwide) - Nazi-skinhead gang.
  • King Cobras (Auckland) – formed in central Auckland during the 1960s, K.C started as a largely Samoan gang but including some Pakeha and people from other Polynesian countries.
  • StormTroopers (Dargaville)
  • Tribal Huk (Ngaruawahia)
  • FBI's (Full Blooded Islanders)- Pacific Islanders - Wellington/Nationwide

Street/Youth Gangs
  • Bloods (Youth Gang,Nationwide)
  • Crips (Youth Gang,Nationwide)
  • Darksiders (Youth Gang - Connected to Black Power, Wellington)
  • Dope Money Sex (Youth Gang) - Central Aucklandmarker
  • Killerbeez (Youth Gang - Connected to the Tribesman)


Some politicians have called for gang patches to be made illegal.


External links

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