Two men arrested after shootings in Ruatoria and Taradale

By Jessica Tyson

Two men have been arrested following two separate gang-related firearms incidents in Ruatoria and the Napier suburb of Taradale.

East Coast detective inspector Rob Jones says around midday yesterday police responded to a report of patched Mongrel Mob members converging in central Wairoa.

A vehicle search was conducted where police recovered two unlawful firearms and ammunition, Jones says.

“A 25-year-old man was arrested and is due to appear in Gisborne District Court today charged with two counts of unlawfully possessing a firearm, and one count of unlawfully possessing ammunition.”

In a separate incident, a 25-year-old Black Power associate was arrested in Onekawa, Napier, last night.

“A knife was recovered along with a small quantity of methamphetamine,” Jones says.

The man is due to appear in Napier District Court in the coming days and has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon and drugs offences.

Jones says there has been an increase in the number of police staff on the ground in Ruatoria and Taradale as they work to investigate the two firearms incidents and wider ongoing issues between the Mongrel Mob and Black Power.

“A general arming order remains in place for frontline staff across the Eastern District as a precautionary measure, he says.

“We are concerned about the current situation and the potential for violence and threatening behaviour on our streets. Police will not tolerate people being put at risk, and we would like to sincerely thank those members of the public who have provided information or reported concerns, as this is helping Police respond and prevent further harm.”

Jones says the order will be assessed on a regular basis.

Police will hold a public meeting with Napier City Council at the Taradale Community Hall at 3 pm on Sunday January 26, to speak with the community about the ongoing gang-related issues and wider community safety concerns.