Police are investigating an incident where a member of the public was stopped by gang associates and a shotgun held to his head at Whakatane on Tuesday.

The incident occurred at about 8.30pm at the intersection of Churchill Street and Lord Cobham Avenue.

A 33 year-old local man was stopped by a silver four-door sedan which pulled in front of his vehicle as he approached the intersection, cutting him off and forcing him to stop.

The man had just picked his child up from a care giver after finishing work when this incident occurred.


Three men, all of them wearing bandannas over their faces, got out of their car and confronted him, demanding to know what he was doing in that neighbourhood.

During the incident, one of the men produced a double barrelled shotgun which he held to the victim's head, before they returned to their vehicle and left.

Police are investigating whether the incident is linked to the events from earlier in the day and are looking to identify those involved.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson said they were also seeking the help of the Whakatane community to identify those concerned as this type of behaviour was not acceptable.

"For a completely innocent man and his child to be the subject of threats and intimidation by gang members, especially when the threats involved a gun being held to his head, is unacceptable and Police are determined to find those responsible.

"Likewise, those involved in the earlier incidents in Valley and Arawa Roads where shots were fired and the lives of innocent bystanders put at risk need to be identified."

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is encouraged to contact the Whakatane Police on 07 308 5255. Alternatively information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.