Patched gang members who helped themselves to Greymouth's coveted "Big Rock" — the best whitebaiting spot on the Grey River — have been moved along by police.
Police confirmed that the Aotearoa Natives moved on to the Big Rock — nearly opposite the old Richmond Hotel site — just before the country went into level 4 lockdown.
The Greymouth Star understands the gang members first staked out the rock about two weeks ago — in anticipation of the start of the fishing season on September 1 — after a stoush with local whitebaiters.
"Police issued gang members with a trespass notice from the Greymouth Port authority and they are not allowed to go back," sergeant Dave Cross said.
If any of the Aotearoa Natives were found occupying any site owned by the Port of Greymouth they would be arrested.
"They are not to go on port authority land for two years — that is how long the trespass notice is for."
The area around Big Rock had been under police surveillance during level 4 lockdown and so far they had not come across anyone else there — "and during level 4 restrictions, no one should be there".
A car believed to belong to the gang was handily parked nearby on Johnston St, with a roll-up bed in the back.
The number plates had been removed.
Cross said it was parked on a public street, unregistered and unwarranted, and therefore the Grey District Council was well within its rights to have it towed away.
A gang member told the Greymouth Star not all of them were banned, but two of 12.