Gang brawl caught on video
‘‘We’ve had three incidents over the past four or five months that were gang-related and have involved firearms.’’
Inspector James Mckay
Police will contact senior Mongrel Mob and Black Power members trying to quell a dispute between the gangs that is thought to have led to multiple shootings.
The latest incident was a brawl – which residents say involved about 50 gang members – in the Lower Hutt suburb of Stokes Valley on Sunday afternoon.
Video of the altercation emerged yesterday. It showed a large group of Mongrel Mob members pursuing Black Power across Delaney Park before a gunshot was heard.
No arrests were made, no weapons were found, and there were no reported injuries resulting from the fight.
Police now plan to meet with senior gang hierarchy in the hope of quelling a dispute between the gangs, thought to have led to multiple shootings in recent months.
Yesterday, criminal investigation branch (CIB) officers were searching for evidence at Delaney Park, as well as canvassing neighbouring residents for any information that would help identify those involved.
Inspector James Mckay said police had a ‘‘fairly good’’ idea about what had happened.
‘‘We’ve had three incidents over the past four or five months that were gang-related and have involved firearms. This one is possibly connected, as well, which is what we’re getting to the bottom of,’’ he said.
‘‘With these types of incidents, information is not that forthcoming from the people involved, obviously, and also from members of the public who, rightly, are a little bit apprehensive about supplying the information.’’
In December, a firearm was seized after a shooting of a 39-year-old man on nearby Hanson Grove. Two months earlier, a
man was shot in a drive-by shooting on the same street.
Police have previously said the shootings were not related.
In July 2018, a shooting on George St saw a 36-year-old man hospitalised with chest wounds and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
Duane Edward Huaki, 39, was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
While both gangs have members living on George St, all of the incidents involved members from across the Wellington region.
Mckay said: ‘‘I don’t know why people are coming to Stokes Valley to do this kind of thing.’’
Officers would be increasing their patrols of the neighbourhood to reassure members of the public.
‘‘I don’t believe there’s wider concern. It is gang-related ... and we are trying to work through with senior gang hierarchy to resolve that dispute so these things don’t happen in the future.’’
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace said Hutt City Council was working with police and Housing New Zealand – which houses a number of gang members on George St – to try to resolve the issue.
There were unconfirmed reports the fight came about from a gang patch being stolen in late 2018 but it was ‘‘too early to say’’ whether that was the cause, he said.
‘‘What we’re wanting to do at the moment is ensure that this does not reoccur. We’re talking to the local marae and the local leaders in the community to find out what has sparked this,’’ Wallace said.
‘‘Stokes Valley is a very good community . . . but it does knock the confidence of people living there.