25 Nov 2023

Police warn of gang funeral disruptions between Auckland and Foxton

8:12 pm on 25 November 2023
Cropped image of headhunters patches

A funeral for Head Hunters gang member William Hines is expected to cause disruptions, with police saying they will not accept any unsafe or illegal activity (file photo). Photo: RNZ / John Edens

A procession of Head Hunters gang members travelling from Auckland to Foxton to attend a senior member's funeral have arrived.

Speaking to reporters, Assistant Commissioner Mike Johnson said so far the gang procession's behaviour "has been reasonably good".

He said the size of the convoy has waxed and waned with 50 or 60 bikes leaving Auckland, then swelled by other gangs joining and dropping off, peaking at one point at around 100 bikes.

He said more than 100 police have been monitoring the procession, backed by the helicopter Eagle.

"The Foxton community will see an increase in police staff," he said.

The bike procession is travelling for the funeral of William "Bird" Hines, a prominent leader of the gang.

Hines was a prominent leader in the Head Hunters. In 2017 he was sentenced to more than 18 years prison for manufacturing and supplying methamphetamine and for firearms offences.

Police said they will monitor gang movements associated with Hines' funeral, but warned motorists to expect delays on the roads during the coming days.

Around midday on Saturday, Johnson said: "A large number of police were deployed to the checkpoints prior to the group leaving Auckland.

"Several infringement notices were issued and one person failed an alcohol breath screening test."

Police have impounded one motorbike and seized a stolen car. A number of follow-up inquiries will also be undertaken with the appropriate action taken.

Three people were arrested and vehicles seized during the funeral of another Head Hunters gang member in Auckland in August.

Johnson said anyone worried for their safety, or who sees anything illegal should call police.

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