Many of the people involved in a gang brawl in Stokes Valley yesterday appeared to be teenaged prospects, a witness says.
A gun is believed to have been fired during the fight, with locals reporting hearing shots going off and seeing people with machetes running around.
One man told the Herald he had just returned home from town when he saw a group of about 20 people running past his house towards the fight, with about half of them carrying weapons.
"A lot of them were only kids," he said, estimating they were aged between 15 and 17 years old.
"Most of them, 70 per cent of them, were like schoolkids."
Despite yesterday's fight being the third firearms-related incident in the area in the past several months, the man said he didn't feel unsafe.
"You're safe if you don't associate with them. All I associate with is my kids and my brother, we just do things at home. We see a lot of mobsters walking up and down here but we don't even talk to them. I stay away from that kind of life."
Another resident was frustrated following the incident, and blamed it on Housing New Zealand.
He said the people involved in such incidents were HNZ tenants, and that each time something happened, HNZ should have to pay his rates.
He saw about 50 people coming towards each other on the field at Delaney Park.
"It was just all on," he said.
"They started to fight, then they just backed off, then the gunshots went off and that's when they all dispersed and got into their cars and just took off."
He did not see any machetes but did see one person wielding a baseball bat.
The man said he felt unsafe in the area and wanted something to be done to stop such incidents happening.
Another man living nearby said he ran inside his house when the fighting started.
He has lived in Stokes Valley since 1998 and said the area has got worse in recent times.
He felt "scared" when he heard gunshots go off, and said gang members parked their cars in his driveway.
After the fight, someone was swinging a machete at one of the cars outside his house, he said.
An elderly woman living further down the street said she saw "all these young ones" running towards the fight.
"It looked like some of them were having a punch up."
She said they looked to be aged about 16 or 17.
She has been living in the area for at least 20 years and said it was usually "pretty quiet".
"My daughter said 'you better get out of Stokes Valley'."
The fight took place on George St near Delany Park.
Police today confirmed they believed a gun was fired during the fight about 3.45pm.
Police had searched several addresses on George St in relation to the incident but no arrests had yet been made.
Inspector James McKay said "positive lines of enquiry were being followed".
"We want the people of Stokes Valley to feel safe, and we want them to know that violence and the unlawful use of firearms will not be tolerated."
One woman on social media said the fight took place near the intersection of Speedy St, on the road and in a park.
"Huge group fighting in the park and over the road. Shotguns and machetes. Quiet now but still wouldn't risk it," the woman wrote.
Another woman told Newstalk ZB she saw about a dozen gang members fighting and heard "bangs" but didn't see any firearms.
However, the woman did see some gang members armed with machetes during the incident.
"We heard some yelling, we thought it was a sports event so we went outside and there was about 10-15 mongrel mob members in the park," she said.
"They were yelling at a group of people ... it was quite aggressive then we heard some bangs and some cars took off."
The woman said lots of people had walked out on to the street to watch the fight unfold.
Last year there were two gang-related shootings on Hanson Grove, Stokes Valley.
In early October, a man was shot during a drive-by shooting.
In early December, a 39-year-old man was shot on the same street and was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police first received calls about gunfire at 11.56pm before they received multiple calls about more gunshots going off in the valley.
"They were really aggressive ... it's not the first time this has happened, we've got young children so it feels like a really unsafe neighbourhood," the woman said.
Police urged people who had information that would assist in identifying the offenders, or who had CCTV cameras with coverage of the Delaney Park area, to contact Hutt Valley Police on (04) 560 2600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.