Mongrel Mob, Hastings Council reach agreement on Te Mata Peak

By James Perry

Hastings Mongrel Mob president Rex Timu says the meeting today with Hastings District Council officials and local police to discuss last week's Mongrel Mob gathering on Te Mata Peak was fruitful.

The meeting was called following an apparent gang patching ceremony on the iconic Hawke's Bay peak earlier this month, with allegations of intimidation made by members of the public and a police decision to close the road leading to the summit.

"Unfortunately what happened last weekend, the congestion got overwhelmed by everyone," Timu told media following today's meeting, "Now our focus is on managing it a bit better in conjunction with the police." 

Timu says one result of the meeting today in the council's offices is that the Mob will time any future events for when the volume of park visitors is low. 

"We usually do it in the late afternoon, on this occasion it was done in the early afternoon.  For the amount of people that went up there that weekend, it was a beautiful day, everyone enjoyed the day.  So we're looking at probably in the late afternoon sometime where there's not many people up there."

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst is hopeful the Mongrel Mob will be more proactive in the future in their planning of events. 

"There'll be the council in terms of traffic management, there'll be the Te Mata Park Trust Board who would be fully aware of any future gatherings and the leaders of the Mongrel Mob will be able to help us and advise when these events will happen," she says. 

Timu denies there was any intimidation during the ceremony last weekend.  However, he is also hopeful not to see a repeat of the past week.

"We've just got to work on it, to make everyone safe up Te Mata Peak there," he says.

Hazlehurst says everyone is welcome to visit Te Mata Peak and hopes that today's meeting will ensure that remains so. 

"We want it to be accessible to everyone, for Hawke's Bay, for our visitors and for our community to be able to access, so we found a really, really positive way to manage [that] going forward," she says.