Christchurch bikie gang Epitaph Riders winds up
Infamous Christchurch motorcycle club the Epitaph Riders have wound up, a gang expert says.
Dr Jarrod Gilbert wrote in a blog post on Sunday that the bikie gang's colours were burnt and the club shut down last week.
It is unclear what prompted the move, but its membership has waned in recent years.
Gilbert said the Epitaph Riders were formed in the city in 1969 by a youth called Ross Jennings.
The group was involved in the country's first gang war, with the Devils Henchmen, five years later. It was arguably the "staunchest and most respected outlaw club in New Zealand" at one time, he said.
Most recently, the gang was based out of a property in Sockburn.
Gilbert, the author of Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand, previously said Christchurch was arguably the most congested outlaw city in New Zealand in the 1990s, but numbers fell away as ageing memberships and methamphetamine took a toll.
The scene has undergone a resurgence in recent times with the arrival of groups like the Head Hunters, Bandidos and Rebels.