4 May 2011

Rebels club determined to stay in Whangarei

3:43 pm on 4 May 2011

The Rebels Motorcycle Club says it will not be leaving Whangarei even though it has been forced to abandon its clubrooms.

The gang - which police say is a front for organised crime - opened new headquarters in a building in Porowini Avenue at Easter.

The building's landlord, Noel Dyer, has asked the Rebels to leave following pressure from police and the community.

However, a spokesperson says Rebels members have been running two legitimate businesses in other buildings in the city for some time without incident, and that will continue.

The spokesperson says the gang will look elsewhere for clubrooms, because it still wants to set up a boxing-gym and a bike workshop.

He says it is disappointing that the Rebels' landlord has come under pressure and the new club has not had a chance to prove itself.

The spokesperson says the Rebels have been targeted by police, but there are several gangs in Whangarei and police are not pursuing them with the same enthusiasm.

Another spokesperson has said the Rebels' Whangarei members are mainly older men who are tired of criminal life and want the camaraderie of a gang without the downside.