A South Auckland community leader is imploring the Otara community to step up and take action against violent crime.

Jim Sinclair, an Otara resident of 20 years, lives 1km from the site of a drive by shooting that injured three young men on Thursday evening.

He is also minutes away from the service station where a Herald delivery man was stabbed six weeks ago.

As a trustee of the Otara Network Action Committee, Sinclair, along with six other committee members, are challenging the community to take ownership of what he calls "mindless violence".


"The first reaction we had was about six weeks ago when a guy got stabbed at the Gull Service Station on East Tamaki Rd," he said.

"After that incident, one of our members challenged the community and ONAC as to what we are going to do about it."

Sinclair said the committee agreed "enough was enough" and it was time everyone got together and did something constructive.

"We need to get together as a community and talk about it, and decide what needs to happen as it is a community issue and our responsibility," he said.

The corresponding shooting this week has only increased Sinclair's desire for action.

"As far as this shooting is concerned, it is up to the police to deal with it first of all but we will give them all the help we can," he said.

"Our reaction to it quite frankly is we don't want this sort of behaviour in our community. There is zero tolerance for it."

Sinclair believes a restorative justice approach needs to be taken.


"The young people should be apprehended and made to face the consequences of their actions. One of those consequences is restorative justice.

"We are going to meet with the perpetrators and the victims and sort things out," he said.

"This restorative approach is the only answer because it is long term and educational."

Sinclair said the Otara community would also benefit from better targeted funding.

"There has been a mountain of money poured into Otara over the years but we need a co-ordinated approach to this," he said.

"I have always said Otara is a pack of pit-bull terriers all squabbling over what is thrown at us by the government, so over the years they have made lip service to this community.

"Instead of money being poured into Otara willy-nilly, we need one group organising what it goes into, and preferably that one group shouldn't be dominated by council."

Sinclair believes crime in South Auckland can be attributed to a socio-economic area that is under privileged and intergenerational transmission of criminal behaviour.

His plea for community action comes after long-time youth worker Sully Paea issued a grave warning about what he describes as unrest in Otara's youth community.

"From what I've seen there are some things brewing behind the scenes," Paea told the Herald on Saturday.

"I'm sensing the storm. I know when there are dark clouds coming. That's what I'm feeling in the community at the moment."

One of three victims of the Thursday shooting remains in hospital and the alleged shooters are yet to be caught.

Police said there were no updates on the incident and inquiries were ongoing.