A Kaitaia man is in a serious condition in hospital after a drive-by shooting early yesterday.

The shooting, which was thought to be gang related, was on Archibald St about 4.30am after an altercation between two groups.

Several shots were fired from a car, hitting a 26-year-old man in the thigh and at least one house.

The victim was flown to Whangarei Hospital where police said he remained in a serious but stable condition late yesterday.


Northland criminal investigations manager Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said he believed the incident was gang related. Police were working to establish exactly how many people were involved and which gangs they were affiliated to.

He believed 10 to 15 people were involved with several on the street and in the car.

The house, or houses, hit by bullets were 20-50m away and had no connection to the shooting. No one in the houses was hit. Mr Burke said the firearm had not been recovered but it was believed to be a high-calibre sports rifle.

Seven detectives from Kaitaia and the Mid North were working on the case yesterday, as well as ESR crime scene specialists and a firearms expert from Auckland.

They spent the day interviewing witnesses and examining two scenes - one where the altercation took place, the other where the house was struck by bullets.

Mr Burke hoped the scene examination would be completed and the cordons lifted late yesterday.

He appealed for any witnesses, or anyone with information about the incident, to call Kaitaia police on (09) 408 6500. Information could also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.