There was a heavy police presence in the Lower Hutt suburb of Stokes Valley after a gang-related shooting last night.
A 39-year-old man was shot and remains in hospital with moderate injuries.
The police said gunshots were fired in Hanson Grove late last night.
Witnesses said people had been out drinking on the street before the incident occurred.
Local resident Pati Pasikala, whose house is on the edge of the police cordon, said he heard about five shots from a shotgun, with some hitting nearby fences.
He said it was chaos before the police arrived about 20 minutes later.
"There were people hanging around here drinking and then it got a bit serious," Mr Pasikala said.
"Everyone just started shouting at each other. There were some people shouting all the way from across the street.
"They just started fighting each other and then it lead to the shooting. Luckily no one else was hurt."
Another witness said there had been tension between the Black Power and Mongrel Mob gangs because Black Power had been recruiting young people in an area the Mob regards as its turf.
The police went door-to-door talking to residents in Hanson Grove.
The investigation continues.