Friends of the slain liquor shop owner Navtej Singh have called the police's delayed response a "complete disaster".

New Zealand Sikh Society spokesman and Singh family spokesman, Manpreet Singh, told journalists that Mr Singh's wife and his business partner continually called 1,1,1 as Mr Singh lay bleeding on the floor from a gunshot wound to his chest.

"It was a complete disaster," Mr Singh said.

A report released today by the Independent Police Complaints Authority found that police failed in their "duty to protect" when they delayed their response to Navtej Singh.

Mr Singh was shot in the chest by Anitelea Chan Kee, 21, who raided his Manurewa liquor store for alcohol and cigarettes with five others on June 7, 2008.

The authority said the delay by police "could not be justified and was undesirable".

Sikh Society spokesman Daljit Singh said he was pleased that the authority had upheld the concerns of the community.

"It was not a single mistake by any one department but a procedural failure," he said.

"The District Commander came to us this morning and apologised to the family. Navtej will not come back with this report. However, it will not happen with anybody else in the future," Mr Singh said.

He said no one in New Zealand would be safe until police get more resources, including body armour to protect against gunfire and firearms in their patrol cars.

Mr Singh's business partner, Gurwinder Singh, made the first emergency call to police. He told reporters that he still did not feel safe.

"We are scared. Anytime it can happen in the future," Mr Singh said.

Navtej Singh's wife, Harjinder Kaur, spoke through an interpreter.

"We know that with this outcome Navtej will not come back but I hope this will not happen to anyone else," she said.

It took police 31 minutes to arrive at Mr Singh's liquor shop where he lay dying of a gunshot wound two years ago. Ambulance did not arrive on the scene for a further six minutes.

"The overall effect of the catalogue of events which together conspired to create a delay in the Police response and a consequential delay in getting emergency medical attention to Navtej Singh was arguably a breach of the Police duty of care to preserve life," said Authority chair Justice Lowell Goddard.

Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope rejected that today. "We don't believe that this catalogue of events as it unfolded collects in such a way that it accords with the authority's view," he told NZPA.

The IPCA listed several miscommunications between key police personnel and with the St John Ambulance among a series of "procedural and command and control failures" on the night of the shooting.

"We need to be very careful to distinguish that it was not police who shot and killed Mr Singh," Mr Pope said.

Police were responding to the best of their ability to the calls and there were some lapses in terms of the transfer of information from the communications centres to police staff, he said.

Mr Pope disagreed with a suggestion of a systemic failure.

"I think that's a bit strong. This is around departure from pretty tried and true procedures. There was general compliance with the way we'd approach any incident of this nature.

Justice Goddard said police failed to record, analyse and communicate all the relevant information that they received during emergency calls shortly after the shooting, which meant police on the ground did not have a clear picture of what was happening on the ground.

The authority also found that there was a shortage of local police in Manurewa available at the time of the shooting.

"The police have a basic duty to protect life. Whilst Navtej Singh's injuries may not have been survivable, what is known is that he suffered significant pain and distress, both of which were inevitably heightened by the delays in getting him emergency medical treatment," said Justice Goddard.

"The Authority also recognises the distress caused to his family and friends by the delays," she said.

Police met with Mr Singh's widow, Harjinder Kaur, this morning.

Mr Pope said: "We again expressed our deep sympathy to her on her loss. We told her that Police urgently wanted to help her husband and get medical support to him as quickly as possible and as safely as possible.

"A regrettable series of events came together to create a delay and ideally we should have got to him sooner. We have apologised to the family for this.

"However we should not lose sight of the fact that it was Anitelia Chan Kee who pulled the trigger and is now serving a 17-year prison term for Mr Singh's murder," Mr Pope said.

Friends of Mr Singh told the Herald shortly after the shooting that they repeatedly called 111 and told police that the gunmen had left the scene.

Family friend Sandeep Verma - who arrived minutes after the shooting - told the newspaper that he made several emergency calls as his friend's condition deteriorated, but despite being able to hear the sirens down the road, help did not turn up.

"I said to them he's vomiting blood ... They said the ambulance is just one minute away. I was pretty much assured the ambulance was just around the corner but they didn't arrive."

Asked if having an ambulance there sooner would have saved Mr Singh's life, Mr Verma replied: "If ambulance would have come in 10 to 15 minutes then I think there was a chance of his survival."

He said police had stuck to the rules while his friend lay dying.

"They are not human beings," Mr Verma said of police.

Sikh community leader Kanwaljit Bakshi was also critical of the police response.

"That time would have made some drastic difference, it might have given help to save him."

The IPCA recommendations to police

The Authority spoke to 48 people during its investigation. They included police and ambulance staff, medical professionals, as well as family and friends of Mr Singh.

The Authority recommends police:

1. Address communications centre training to: Ensure that staff understand the importance of managing critical information and ensuring it is passed to the incident controller in the field; Ensure that staff understand requirements for formal handover of command and control, including appropriate timing for handover; Ensure that shift commanders understand the need to maintain active oversight of critical incidents after incident control has passed to field units;

2. Ensure that all staff are trained on the National Protocol for Interaction between communication centre and field staff.

3. Treat all situations in which Police are told that someone has been shot as potentially life-threatening until medical assistance has been provided, rather than making assumptions based on the size of the wound or the presence of bleeding alone.

4. Review training for all staff on command and control, and management of critical incidents in which people may have been injured.

5. Fit Eagle with video recording equipment so that critical events can be recorded at all times, and consider the feasibility of Eagle providing a'live feed' of images to the communications centre;

6. Review management of critical firearms incidents in which people have been or are suspected of being injured;

7. Review Police inter-probability with St John Ambulance and other emergency services, particularly in relation to management, transfer of critical information and post incident de briefings.

8. Ensure that Police and Ambulance use the same SFP unless there are sound operational reasons for not doing so, and ensure that other emergency services are clearly informed of the location of any SFP.

9. Ensure that inter-agency debriefing takes place when more than one agency has been involved in a critical incident to enhance inter-probability between the agencies;

10. Review firearms training to ensure that staff are competent and confident in responding to critical incidents.

11. Provide a national policy on'ride-along' and SCOPE passengers in Police vehicles.

12. Prioritise the rollout of HAP vests to all districts, and ensure that, until HAP vests are available, firearms training includes familiarisation with ballistic body armour.

13. Ensure that there are appropriate mechanisms for reporting mapping inaccuracies, and consider establishing a memorandum with local authorities to ensure that relevant information (such as road changes) is passed on to Police.

14. Consider alternatives for when Language Line is not available, and ensure that communications centre staff who are experiencing difficulty with a caller's language ask if there is anyone else at the scene who speaks English.

15. Ensure that when vehicles are permitted by District policy to carry firearms that ballistic body armour is also available in each vehicle;

16. Clarify the recording requirements for the issue of firearms expressed in the Police Manual in the context of the practical need to get firearms to a scene urgently.

Mr Pope said police had already made changes after their internal investigations into their handling of the case.

"We looked at all aspects of our response and identified several improvements, particularly in regard to the way we take command of serious incidents and control the response of our staff in the field," Mr Pope said.

He said the extra police working in Manukau were helping to ease some of the pressures.

Mr Pope said 209 extra police wee in place and a further 91 would be "on track to be operational by Christmas".

"Police have also put a lot of effort into working with retailers, dairy owners and liquor store owners in the area to reduce the risk of them becoming crime targets," Mr Pope said.