Shots fired at a car in Upper Hutt this week came after an altercation between two opposing groups, but the incident is not gang-driven, police say.

One person has been arrested after another altercation the following day, in which shots were again fired, Hutt Valley prevention manager Inspector James McKay said.

The Armed Offenders Squad helped to carry out a search warrant in Upper Hutt on Monday after reports shots were fired at a vehicle on Fergusson Drive.

"The investigation led us to believe a group of people had an altercation . . . as a result of that, one side of the group decided to discharge a firearm at a vehicle that belonged to the other side of the faction," McKay said.

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He confirmed the incident involved two separate groups but said they were not gangs. While some group members had loose gang connections, that did not drive the offending.

The shots fired at the car appeared to be done in an "intimidatory" way. Nobody was in the car at the time.

The search warrant didn't lead to any arrests, but a 26-year-old Upper Hutt man was arrested on Tuesday after the two groups had another altercation.

Members of the public reported hearing shots being fired at the time. Police did not find a gun but they did find ammunition.

The man faces firearms and drug-related charges, but nobody has yet been charged for Monday's shooting.

McKay said the incidents were in residential areas.

"Our concern was that there was innocent people in houses nearby and they could have easily been harmed by this reckless action," he said.