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Last updated 13:00 18/02/2011
Speculation that Nelson motorcycle gang The Lost Breed may be aligned with the Rebels motorcycle gang should be treated with caution, a gang commentator says.
A report in The New Zealand Herald said the recently formed New Zealand branch of the Australian Rebels motorcycle gang possibly had links with The Lost Breed.
A major police raid in the central North Island last week saw 31 arrested and drugs and cash seized from several gangs, including the Rebels.
The Rebels are Australia's largest outlaw motorcycle gang.
Former detective David Haslett, of Christchurch, said he had heard rumours about a link between The Lost Breed and the Rebels but until he saw "hard, cold, evidence" the gang was affiliated he would treat such commentary as speculation.
"Certainly that's a possibility, but at the end of the day there's a tremendous amount of rumour and conjecture."
Mr Haslett said there was a certain amount of diplomacy between many clubs and he would need to see evidence of patched members mixing with each other, for example, at each other's events for hard proof the two groups were aligned. Mr Haslett said aligning could mean a number of things, from friendship between club members to deeper connections.
"I would treat the word alignment with some suspicion. At the end of the day it could be a club association or it could be that whenever they pass through there is a friendly exchange."
He said alliances changed and most North Island clubs would have clubs they were friendly with in the South Island and vice versa.
"I think really this is a good time for the independent observer to stand back and look at what's going on rather than what's being talked up."
He said New Zealand went through periods where biker groups were the bad guys, and it was very easy for motorcycle gangs to be demonised in the media as they didn't talk to media or respond to comments made about them.
However, there were motorcycle club members who were family men who held down jobs in the community.