Cops set sights on gangs’ guns

By Te Ao - Māori News

► Photomerge: Maori Television graphic

A new nationwide campaign by NZ Police aims to disrupt the illegal supply of firearms to gangs and organised crime groups, which has led to recent rising violence.

The operation, named Operation Tauwhiro, is a long term, nationally coordinated operation focused on harm prevention and enforcement.

“Violent offending, particularly involving firearms, poses significant risk and causes fear and long term harm in our communities," Commissioner Andrew Coster says.

“Groups that commit violence involving firearms can expect to be the focus of significant police enforcement attention.

This kind of offending is completely unacceptable and is a high priority for investigators.

“A key focus of the operation will be investigating and disrupting the illegal supply of firearms to gangs and organised crime groups, which is enabling firearms violence.

Organised crime

This includes the illegal manufacture, modification, and supply of firearms to gangs and organised crime groups.

“The operation will hold these people to account while also identifying where we can prevent further harm and victimisation."

“Each Police District will run their own tailored initiative and will work closely with iwi and our partner agencies to identify underlying risk factors and implement appropriate interventions.  This may include working with iwi, community NGOs, probation and parole officers, and other community groups to offer services and support that can help address the underlying causes of violence and build greater community resilience,” says Commissioner Coster.

Operation Tauwhiro is the first operation aligned to the new Organised Crime Strategy.

Information welcomed

The strategy provides a framework for delivering the Police-specific elements of the Transnational Organised Crime Strategy, the Resilience to Organised Crime in Communities work programme, and broader prevention and enforcement activities.

A key element of the strategy is to address organised crime, its social drivers and the harm it causes.

Police welcome information from anyone who has concerns about organised crime, illicit drugs or illegal firearms in their community.

They are encouraged to report online at, call Police on 105, or report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Organised Crime Strategy can be found here.