A man allegedly pointed a loaded gun at people in downtown Auckland on the weekend, less than two days after a gun was fired at the luxury Sofitel hotel.
Detective Senior Sergeant Steve Anderson of Auckland City CIB said the man fled on foot but was soon apprehended on Saturday morning.
"At the time, a handgun allegedly used in the incident was also located by police," Anderson said.
He has since appeared in Auckland District Court and was charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm and with resisting police.
He's expected to reappear in court later this week.
The incident is not thought to be directly linked to gang tensions, but comes soon after shots were fired at the Sofitel on Thursday, sparking an armed police callout.
The Herald understands members of the Head Hunters opened fire after encountering members of the Mongols in the Sofitel.
Detective Inspector John Sutton said that incident was linked to an earlier shooting at the Head Hunters' Mt Wellington gang pad.
A senior police source said broad concerns existed about an increase in gun crime in recent months.
In December, a gun was fired at Calendar Girls strip club and a fight erupted and a firearm discharged at Dr Rudi's bar in the Viaduct.
It's widely understood only some firearms incidents and drive-by shootings actually become public knowledge.
This was partly because many inter-gang conflicts were never reported to police, and police weren't compelled to divulge details of every firearms incident to media or the public.
The source said long-established gangs had in the past largely respected each other's turf, partly as incidents like that at the Sofitel brought unwanted attention and scrutiny.
The police source said several gangs in the North Island appeared to be having trouble enforcing internal discipline.
The source said the ongoing profitability of the methamphetamine trade, and influence of criminals from countries including Mexico in this trade formed some context around ongoing concerns about gun violence.
It would have been laughable 18 months ago to suggest Mexican syndicates were influencing local gangs, but that reality could no longer be ignored, the source said.
In the wake of the Sofitel shooting, Auckland mayor Phil Goff said it was "intolerable" for gangs to conduct feuds in public using firearms and risking public safety.
He said so-called 501 deportees from Australia were fuelling turf wars as gangs like the Mongols and Comancheros gained in numbers and strength.
"They're treating this like the Wild West."