A gang related shooting in Wairoa has left one man hospitalised with facial injuries and 24 people arrested on charges of unlawful assembly after a brawl in the town this morning.
Inspector Sam Aberahama, Gisborne Police Area Commander, said police were called to a Kaimoana Road property occupied by gang members shortly after 9am today. This followed reports of shots being fired and fighting.
"Wairoa Police assisted by reinforcements from Gisborne and Napier, including Armed Offenders Squad staff, responded. There was a large and violent brawl taking place, the cause of which is being investigated," Inspector Aberahama said.
"Police were able to extricate one man who had been shot in the face. He was taken initially to Wairoa Hospital and later transported by helicopter to Hawke's Bay hospital for treatment. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening."
Inspector Aberahama said the property where the incident took place has been contained and cordoned off for a specialist search. No firearms have been found at this stage, but the scene and the investigation into the cause of the shooting and the brawl is continuing.
He said police have been kept busy processing the 24 arrested who are likely to face court tomorrow.
"Violence such as what took place today is unacceptable in the eyes of police and the community," he said. "We are doing everything possible to find out what happened and to prevent a reoccurence.
"Wairoa Police works very closely with the community, council, Iwi and other community groups including gangs to ensure people are safe and feel safe," Inspector Aberahama said.
"We encourage anyone who has information about the shooting to talk with us."
People who can help are asked to call Wairoa Police on telephone 06 838 8345. If you have information which you would like to provide anonymously, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.