The Head Hunters' gang pad has been attacked in a drive-by shooting overnight, in what is at least the third such brazen attack in recent years.
The Marua Rd address of the gang's East chapter in the Auckland suburb of Mt Wellington was targeted around 10.45pm on Sunday in an assault which could lead to escalating violence.
Police were called to the scene after gunshots were heard, a spokesperson said in a statement.
"Police spoke to occupants at the address and no injuries were reported at the time.
"A scene examination was conducted, and Police continue to look into the matter."
While no one was injured, the Herald understands the early stages of the police inquiry has linked the attack on the Head Hunters pad to another shooting inside the Femme Fatale strip club in downtown Auckland on Friday night.
A member of the Mongols was admitted to Auckland Hospital in a critical but stable condition.
While the police did not confirm the link to the strip club shooting, a well-placed source said the attack on the Head Hunters' base last night was most likely retaliation for the strip club shooting.
Such a direct attack on the Head Hunters could spiral into further violence, depending on how the gang sought retribution.
There was a similar tit-for-tat escalation between the two gangs in April last year.
Over several months, buildings and cars linked to individuals in both gangs were targeted by gunfire or arson, which led to around 30 semi-automatic rounds sprayed at Marua Rd.
This act of aggression led to the police arresting five members or associates of the Mongols on the North Shore a few days later, who were charged with the unlawful possession of explosives.
A few days later, shots were fired inside the lobby of the five-star Sofitel Hotel on Auckland's waterfront when members of the rival gangs crossed paths.
No one was hurt but the city was put into lockdown and the police investigation led to numerous charges, including participation in an organised criminal group, drugs and firearms offences, laid against the Head Hunters and Mongols alleged to be involved in the feud.
Since the feud boiled over in April last year, members of the Head Hunters have been involved in shooting with other gangs like the Comancheros, who like the Mongols, have established chapters in New Zealand after being deported from Australia.
There was also a long-running feud between members of the King Cobras and Rebels gangs in Manukau, where businesses and homes of gang members were targeted with gunfire and arson.
The arrival of gangs such as the Comancheros and the Mongols, both of which police allege have global organised crime connections, has upset the pecking order in New Zealand.
Even just a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable for someone to directly attack the Head Hunters pad so brazenly - this is the third time in three years.
The latest shooting is symbolic of the evolution of the organised crime world since the arrival of the Australian gangs.
Nicknamed "501s" after the section of the immigration law used to deport them on character grounds, law enforcement agencies believe these new gangs have a disproportionate influence on the criminal underworld because of their international connections, sophisticated counter-surveillance tactics, and aggressive approach to use firearms.
While New Zealand criminals have always carried firearms, this development has escalated so rival groups are more likely to shoot at one another.
"We see that as a very undesirable shift in our criminal landscape," Police Commissioner Andrew Coster told the Herald in February last year.
"While this is predominantly an issue between gangs and organised crime groups, people are dying and that's not okay. And, understandably, that causes fear in our communities. People should not have to live in an environment with this level of violence around them."
The most recent attack on the Head Hunters will also put more political pressure on Police Minister Poto Williams, who has been targeted in recent weeks by National MP Mark Mitchell over the government's response to gangs and organised crime.