As Northland police investigate another gang-related death, a family member of the victim has lashed out at the "extreme" effects of methamphetine.
The 37-year-old died yesterday morning after being taken in a critical condition to the Whangarei's St John station after a dash to get him medical help.
A relative of the man said he was loved by many and came from a loving family.
"The sad thing about gangs is they have gone from one extreme to the next," she said.
"The change from cannabis to P has contributed to this. Users have lost the ability to make right decisions, [it's] so much more complex. Actually, people need to be educated about that too."
The man was driven to the ambulance station on Western Hills Dr but died shortly after with police being called to the station about 6.40am yesterday.
The 37-year-old was yet to be named and police are still establishing whether the death was linked to the slaying of Head Hunter gang member 25-year-old Moses Noor Mahanga in Otangarei 14 days ago. Mahanga died of a gunshot wound and no arrests have been made.
A team of forensic experts examined the ambulance parked inside the main ambulance bay late yesterday before the body was removed and taken to Auckland for a post-mortem, which will be conducted this morning.
Family of the deceased man, believed to be a father of two, gathered and remained outside the cordon for most of the day. They were hugging each other and were visibly upset.
One man, with a blood-covered shirt, was being consoled by others. The man's sister, who was one of those at the scene, said the shock was still sinking in.
A late model silver Mercedes car was the major focus of attention inside the cordon, with a Tribesmen gang vest lying on the bonnet. The car was towed away about 3.30pm.
Armed police were at a property north of Whangarei at Piano Hill, on Mower Rd, where a house would also be under forensic scrutiny. A second property in Hassard St, Kensington, was also under police watch and would be examined.
The examinations at the properties and at the ambulance station continue today.
Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said police were still investigating if the two homicides were linked but there was no immediate link.
"Police are still working to establish the circumstances surrounding this man's death."
Mr Burke urged anyone who saw a group of men gathered in the Whangarei or Kamo areas in the early hours of Tuesday to contact them.
Police are waiting until formal identification of the victim before releasing his name.
St John Northland operations manager Tony Devanney said the incident hadn'tt affected the organisation's services.
The early morning police activity had neighbours puzzled and concerned.
"I came out to open up my front gate and collect the paper and I saw the police over there," said one woman.
"They've taken one man away in a police car so I'm not sure what is happening."
An elderly woman was shaken by seeing so many officers gathered.
"I don't know what's going on, it worries me too."
Other gang-related homicide investigations this year include the death of Kimble Moore in Kaitaia. His body was found six months after he was reported missing. The 48-year-old was a member of the Tribesmen.
The first homicide investigation of the year began on New Year's Day, after the death of Kaitaia man Lee Rata in hospital.
Mr Rata was attacked and badly beaten in Bonnett Rd, in the town the previous night. Lester Pairama, 17, Christopher Mana Manuel, 36, Juanita Rafael Wilcox, 26, and Joseph Martin, 41, all of Moerewa, and members or associates of the Mongrel Mob, have been jointly charged with murder.
Anyone with information on the latest homicide can contact Whangarei police on 09 430 4500 or anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more articles from this region, go to Northern Advocate