29 Aug 2018

Black Power and community leaders talk after shooting

8:09 am on 29 August 2018

Talks between the Black Power gang and community leaders in Whanganui got underway yesterday.

They followed the homicide of Mongrel Mob member Kevin Ratana, who was shot outside of an address on Puriri Street early last week.

A Black Power spokesperson, Eugene Ryder, said the talks were focused on finding a peaceful way forward.

He told RNZ there was no threat to public safety, nor would there be in the future.

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Eugene Ryder Photo: RNZ / Leigh McLachlan

Black Power representative Denis O'Reilly said that chapters of his gang and the Mongrel Mob were maintaining open lines of communication throughout the country.

Despite this, police said they would continue to have an increased presence in Whanganui, which they expected would continue for the next couple of days.

A police spokesperson said the investigation in to Mr Ratana's death was ongoing, and eight people had been charged as a result of the homicide inquiry.

Those charges included threatening to kill, unlawful possession of ammunition and participation in an organised crime group.

It is understood that several of those charged appeared in the Whanganui District Court yesterday, and will continue to appear on various dates over the coming weeks.

Police said they expected to lay further charges.

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