Friday, 12 August 2022 - 4:02pm |

Arrest and charges laid as part of Operation Cobalt

2 min read

Four people have been arrested with Aotearoa Natives gang links as part of ongoing Operation Cobalt, targeting gangs.

The Greymouth Organised Crime Unit, supported by West Coast and Canterbury Police staff, and Corrections have executed a number of search warrants in both Greymouth and Christchurch as part of the investigation.

These warrants have disrupted gang activities, including drug dealing, intimidation, and violence, which continue to cause enormous harm in our communities.

All four have been charged jointly with arson and conspiring to commit assault with intent to injure.

In addition to these charges, the 34-year-old Aotearoa Natives President, a 26-year-old woman, and a 32-year-old-man have also been charged with conspiring to commit aggravated robbery.

The 34-year-old man has also been charged with unauthorised use of a mobile phone by a prisoner, with the 26-year-old woman and the 32-year-old-man charged with unauthorised communication with a prisoner.

The 34-year-old man is remanded in custody and scheduled to reappear on 20 September.

The 32-year-old-man and a 26-year-old man are remanded in custody and scheduled to reappear on 17 August.

The 26-year-old man is also facing charges in relation to supplying methamphetamine.

The 26-year-old woman is also due to appear on Wednesday in Greymouth District Court.

Police continue to step-up enforcement and the disruption of unlawful gang behaviour across the country as part of Operation Cobalt.

Detective Wendy Bennett says it was through information received that an investigation was launched and a series of search warrants were executed.

“This activity is a real concern, and we are very grateful to the community for bringing these issues to us,” Detective Bennett says.

“In the past, we have struggled to prosecute due to a lack of crime reported. This should send a clear message of our commitment to investigating crime and to holding anyone to account who causes harm in our community.”

West Coast Area Commander Inspector Jacqui Corner acknowledges the great work being done across the West Coast in conjunction with Operation Cobalt.

“We will continue to target and suppress unlawful gang behaviour in order to enhance the safety of our community and staff – and hold those responsible for this type of offending to account,” Inspector Jacqui Corner says.

Police rely on the eyes and ears of our community and continue to encourage people to report any unlawful behaviour.

You may think your information is inconsequential, but it could be the missing piece that enables us to put together details, which lead to a prosecution.

Information can be given to Police by contacting 111 if it is happening now and 105 after the fact.

If for whatever reason you do not want to speak to Police directly, you can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online via


Issued by Police Media Centre