17 Oct 2023

Police say gangs behind spate of shootings in Ōpōtiki

6:41 pm on 17 October 2023
Police generic

(file image) Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Police are blaming gangs for a spate of shootings in the Bay of Plenty town of Ōpōtiki where three houses and a vehicle were targeted.

On Sunday, a man with a gun threatened the occupants of a house, police said.

Later that night, someone shot at and stole a vehicle, they said.

The next morning shots were fired at another house and a 29-year-old man was arrested in relation this incident, police said.

On Tuesday morning, two other houses were shot at.

Ōpōtiki rural response manager Senior Sergeant Richard Miller said the behaviour was incredibly dangerous and it was a miracle no-one had been seriously injured or killed.

"These incidents all involve gang members targeting each other," Miller said.

"Those responsible for these incidents should be on notice that we have absolutely no tolerance for this kind of behaviour in our community."

Anyone with information about these incidents could get in touch with police, he said.

The 29-year-old man, who was arrested, was due to appear in Whakatāne District Court on 18 October, on firearms-related charges.