2 Nov 2011

Hells Angels arrested over illegal hunting in reserve

10:06 pm on 2 November 2011

Police have arrested 12 men including Hells Angels gang members for allegedly hunting illegally in a popular Auckland recreational reserve.

They say gang members and their associates were hunting in Woodhill Forest at night without permission or firearms' licences.

Detective Inspector Grant Wormald says they face a range of charges, some of which carry penalties of between four and ten years' imprisonment.

He says the arrests are part of a campaign by police, with help from other agencies, to crack down on illegal activity by the gang.

Mr Wormald says the hunting came to light as a part of a wider investigation and after reports that deer in managed herds in Woodhill were being killed.

Detective Inspector Wormald says the forest, which is used by trampers and mountain bikers, normally allows hunting in very restricted areas that are cleared of people.

He says any hunting outside those areas puts people in danger.

Separate council action

Auckland Council is also taking action against Hells Angels' gang members because of illegal buildings on their club grounds.

Council building control manager Tim Weight says officers found about eight illegal sheds on a central Auckland property when they visited on Wednesday morning.

He says the buildings had been approved as temporary accommodation about 14 years ago but have been used as permanent housing, contravening the Building Act.

Mr Weight says the council is issuing a notice to fix the problem, and will consider taking the property owner to court if there's no action.