Northland police have arrested two men over an alleged shooting in Kaikohe, ahead of the rollout of a new operation targeting gang violence.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Dalzell, Far North area investigations manager, said police responded to reports of a firearm being discharged just after 10am yesterday.
Police found a firearm and arrested a 21-year-old and a 49-year-old, who were both charged with carelessly discharging a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Police did not believe the incident was "directly linked" to any recent gang conflict in Kaikohe, Dalzell said.
Armed police were seen descending on the far end of Wihongi St yesterday morning, where an officer was heard giving orders over a loud hailer directed at a property on the cul-de-sac.
Members of the armed offenders squad and dog handlers were among the officers present.
A witness reported hearing police tell the occupants to make themselves known by coming to the front door.
"You will receive further instructions from there. You will not be harmed," they reportedly said.
Four AOS officers were seen entering the property while armed police stood guard on the street.
Police closed Wihongi St, near De Merle St, to the public. A brief tussle broke out between officers and a woman attempting to get past the roadblock.
She was threatened with arrest before opting to wait around the corner on De Merle St.
Neighbours stood at their gates, some filming the action on their phones, while a police drone hovered near the rear of the house at the centre of the callout.
The sounds of dogs barking loudly and sirens echoed around the area.
Members of the public were escorted by police to the opposite side of the street away from the house.
A large contingent of police poured onto the scene as events unfolded. Armed officers were spotted earlier crouched behind their vehicles facing the property.
Dalzell said police wanted to reiterate to the community that they take incidents like this extremely seriously.
"We have already warned they are stepping up their enforcement and disruption of unlawful gang activity across the country, and will continue to do so as Operation Cobalt rolls out."
Operation Cobalt is intended as an extension and broadening of Operation Tauwhiro, which focused on getting unlawfully held firearms out of the hands of gang members.
Police commissioner Andrew Coster last week said Operation Cobalt had effectively already started in Auckland with action taken against the Killer Beez and Tribesmen gangs.
The operation would be rolled out nationwide in coming weeks, he said.
This shooting is the latest in a series of similar incidents in Kaikohe recently.
In the first, shots were fired at houses early on the morning of May 24. This was believed to be linked to tensions between the Killer Beez and the Tribesmen.
A rāhui against gang violence declared by several mid-North hapū a month ago was broken by a shooting at a parked vehicle within a few weeks.
In another incident, a man showed up at Bay of Islands Hospital with a gunshot wound on June 6. A 29-year-old man was arrested in relation to that shooting.
A number of others have been arrested on firearms and ammunition possession charges in Kaikohe over the past five weeks, including one man found with a pistol during a random vehicle stop.
Dalzell said police acted on information from the public, which led to yesterday's two arrests.
"We have an extremely low tolerance for anti-social behaviour or violence in our communities and we welcome anyone who may have information on those illegally in possession of firearms to come forward.
"They can contact us any time through 105 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111."
The two men charged over the alleged shooting will appear in Kaikohe District Court today.