A gang patch in New Zealand refers to the identifying insignia of a street gang. Patches have been linked[by whom?] to intimidation of members of the public by gang members. Gang patches perform much the same identification role as gang colours do in other countries.
Each of the country's gangs has its own forms of insignia, of which the most prominent is often a large symbol, frequently worn by members on their clothing as a symbol of their gang membership. The patch is often seen[by whom?] as being as important to gang members as a military flag is to members of an army group, and any insult to the patch is taken as being an insult to the gang as a whole.
As such, the term has a more general meaning. Being a "patched" member of a gang is to be a fully initiated member of the gang - and often a ranking member of the gang's structure. The physical patches are highly valued and have been used[by whom?] with some success in negotiations.[need quotation to verify]
Wanganui District Council has banned the wearing of gang patches within parts of their jurisdiction. The ban was tested by judicial review in a hearing before Clifford J in November 2010. The judge reserved his decision.
- "Gang patch not worth it - judge". Dominion Post. 15 May 2009. Archived from the original on 30 November 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
- "Gang to get killer's Mob patch back". Stuff.co.nz. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "New weapon in fight against gangs". TVNZ. 7 May 2009. Archived from the original on 9 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
- "Gang patch ban will go nationwide: Laws". Otago Daily Times. 10 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
- Gang patch bylaw too broad and vague, lawyers say