Police are bringing in extra officers and will continue to be armed for "as long as is deemed necessary" after two unconnected shootings on the East Coast over the weekend.
Hawkes Bay police say the two gang shootings in Ruatoria and Taradale over the weekend were not connected and there was one arrest in each case, with more likely.
In a statement today, Eastern District Commander Superintendent Tania Kura said staff from outside the district were supporting local staff with an increased police presence in Ruatoria and Taradale.
"In relation to the police response to these incidents, staff continue to be armed and will be for as long as is deemed necessary," she said.
"Our inquiries to date indicate the two incidents from the weekend were as a result of ongoing tensions between the Mongrel Mob and the Black Power gangs.
"Gang violence in our community is not acceptable and will not be tolerated."
Kura said she wanted to thank members of the public who had come forward so far and said both investigations were progressing well.
She said a gang-focused unit on its own was not the silver bullet to the problem.
"The gang focused unit on their own aren't just the only group to police the gangs."
Detective Inspector Rob Jones said there had been at least a 30 to 35 percent increase in gang numbers in the past few years.
He urged anyone with more information to come forward to police or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
He said police did not know what specifically had caused the current tensions.
The two shootings took place in Ruatoria and Taradale over the weekend.
Police were called after reports of shots fired between occupants of two vehicles and a person at a house nearby at Mcclutchie Road, Ruatoria on Saturday.
They arrested a 49-year-old man the next day.
In Taradale, Napier, one man was left with injuries to his face, head and torso after a shooting during a brawl involving dozens of Black Power and Mongrel Mob members.
Gunshot pellets were found to have hit a child's car seat after that shooting.
Lifetime Black Power member Denis O'Reilly told Morning Report today police should not draw links between the two events, warning that could make tensions worse.