A man found guilty of murder after a fatal shooting in Petone has avoided being jailed without parole, despite being on his second warning under the three strikes legislation.
Shane Harrison, who is 44, was jailed for life and ordered to spend at least 13 years in prison.
Shane Harrison and his co-offender, 20-year-old Dillin Pakai, who are members of the Porirua-based Rogue chapter of the Mongrel Mob, were attacked with samurai swords and other weapons when they confronted members of a Hutt Valley chapter of the gang.
Police are accepting a Judge's decision to not impose the toughest sentence available on Harrison.
Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Thornton said rivalry between gang factions was not an isolated occurrence and he had a simple message for those involved.
"There is a better life out there and gang life doesn't take them anywhere.
"There's not hope, there's no future, it's just a process of engaging with the police and broken homes and spending long times in prison."
Alonsio Matalasi, who was not a gang member, was fatally shot by Pakai as he and Harrison fled the scene.
His father, Iafeta Matalasi, read a statement to the court, forgiving the men and asking that they be set free, so he could help them become better people.
The sentencing judge, Justice Mallon, acknowledged his request but said she was unable to do that.
Pakai was also jailed for life and ordered to spend at least 12 years and three months in jail.