The Devil’s Henchmen throwing Molotov cocktails at the Epitaph Riders in Christchurch’s first gang war. Prime Minister Rob Muldoon surrounded by Black Power members at the Royal Tiger Tavern in Wellington. The Magogs and the Mothers, PEP schemes and P dealers, patches and ridgies, colours and class: for five decades gangs have played a pivotal role in New Zealand life.
Based a decade of research among gangs, PATCHED is the first major history of gang life in New Zealand. Jarrod Gilbert traces the story from the bodgies and widgies of the 1950s, through the rise of the Hell’s Angels and other ‘bikie’ gangs in the 1960s, the growth of the Mongrel Mob and Black Power in the 1970s and on to shifts in gang activity around drugs and organised crime over the last ten years. Throughout, Gilbert brings us the gang members, the police and the politicians in their own gripping and gritty words. In this violent and sometimes horrifying book, he takes readers for the first time inside a tough but revealing part of New Zealand life.