A police homicide investigation has left neighbours fearful they've found themselves in the midst of a Black Power gang dispute.

Paul Te Hiko, 40 was found dead at a house on Jack Vaughan Grove in Wainuiomata about 11pm on Wednesday last week.

Wellington police launched a homicide investigation after post mortem results showed he died from a gunshot wound.

The address where he was found is next to a housing subdivision, which was originally included in the cordoned area as investigators hunted for clues.


Tradies were allowed back on to part of the worksite on Monday morning, with police narrowing the cordoned area to include a house, several piles of rubble and some diggers.

An armed police officer is still guarding the cordoned site.

Several neighbours who spoke to the Herald said there were rumours the Black Power gang was involved.

They asked not to be named because of fears of reprisal.

The cordoned scene on Jack Vaughan Grove. Photo / Frances Cook
The cordoned scene on Jack Vaughan Grove. Photo / Frances Cook

One neighbour said Te Hiko kept to himself, but after his death Black Power members were conspicuously walking the streets.

Another woman said she was worried an undercurrent of gang activity in the area had now been brought out into the open.

A third neighbour said the first she knew of it was when she saw a lot of police cars on her street.

"A lot of cars go there, but we don't know exactly what is down there. It made us a bit curious why there were so many vehicles, especially loud ones, you know.


"It was all hours as well, not just during the day, we'd often hear cars going there at night.

"They'd barricade it off, but cars would still go on that corner."

A fourth neighbour said Black Power members were walking the streets the morning after the murder.

A police spokesperson said they were not able to comment on rumours of Black Power involvement at this time.

When he spoke to the Herald on Saturday, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Sears said friends and family members called police after they found Te Hiko's body on Wednesday night.

He didn't directly answer questions about whether the death was gang related.

"At this stage we're just trying to establish the background movements of Mr Te Hiko and identify his associates.

"It's too early in our investigation to establish what's led to this. We're looking for any information that could give us some background."

Police would like to speak to anyone who was in the area on Wednesday, and saw any suspicious activity or vehicles.

"Even if you're not sure how significant it may be, please get in touch with us," Sears said.

"We're looking to resolve this for Mr Te Hiko and his family and friends."

Anyone with information can ring Lower Hutt Police on 04 560 2600, or give information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.