A spate of shootings which have left three dead in south Auckland this year has residents living in fear, says a local politician.

Manukau councillor Alf Filipaina, a former police officer, said the level of violence was among the worst he had seen in 60 years of living in the area.

Some of the shootings were related to gang tensions between rival groups the Killer Beez and the Tribesmen, and Filipaina wants youth workers employed in the area to steer kids away from the organised crime groups.

In the latest incident, a man was shot dead on Brady Rd in Ōtāhuhu early Saturday morning.


It brings the number of serious firearms incidents in south Auckland to six since February - with three people dead.

Manukau councillor Alf Filipaina says South Auckland residents were urging politicians to guarantee their safety after a spare of shootings. Photograph /
Manukau councillor Alf Filipaina says South Auckland residents were urging politicians to guarantee their safety after a spare of shootings. Photograph /

"It is unusual? Hell yes," said Filipaina.

Residents had made their views clear at a public meeting last weekend, which was attended by Mayor Phil Goff and Labour MP for Manukau East Jenny Salesa.

"Our community, they're afraid," Filipaina said. "At the meeting ... they were telling us 'What are going to do to keep our community safe?'"

He planned to speak to Salesa on Monday about getting youth workers back to south Auckland to discourage gang activity.

"It's just to say look, there may be a better way. Because it has to stop. It is shocking, it really is."

Ōtara and neighbouring suburbs were home territory for both the Killer Beez and the Tribesmen.

Killer Beez president Josh Masters was shot at a Harley-Davidson store in Mt Wellington on April 26.


Akustino Tae, a former friend of Masters who now wears the Tribesmen patch, has been charged with attempted murder.

That has ratcheted up tension in the area. Following the shooting, an Ōtara school introduced increased security measures and asked parents not to leave their children waiting at the gate before and after classes.

Salesa told the Herald she was "seriously concerned about the recent shootings around South Auckland, especially where gangs and drugs were involved".

She said "safety" in the community was a top priority for her.

"We have come together as a community to discuss how we should address these issues, together with Mayor Goff, Councillors and our Local Board," she said.

"More social workers is one of the things that can assist. However there are no easy solutions."

Salesa said "many of the issues facing our local families and communities in Otara are complex".

"We know that many of our tamariki, young people and families face huge challenges in life: inadequate housing, poverty, family violence, racism and mental health issues to name a few. Addressing these issues in a coordinated way as well as providing early support are priorities for the Government."

She said during last weekend's meeting she was asked for more social workers to be deployed to the area, adding: "I am advocating for this and asking my ministerial colleagues for advice".

Sociologist Jarrod Gilbert, who researches gangs, told the Herald earlier this month that the shooting could lead to tit-for-tat retribution.

"If it's a wider beef, between the Killer Beez and the Tribesmen, there's an opportunity for someone in the Killer Beez to step up and make a name for themselves by avenging their leader."

It is not clear whether the other violent incidents in the area had been gang-related.

On February 17, two people were seriously injured in a shooting in Māngere Bridge.

Then on April 20, Siaosi Tulua, 39, was shot and killed outside a house on Darnell Crescent, Clover Park.

A week later, Masters was critically injured in the Mt Wellington shooting.

On May 17, Faaifo 'Joe' Siaosi, 23, was killed outside his family home on Piako St, Ōtara. A 21-year-old man has been charged with his murder.

And early yesterday, a man was believed to have been shot in Ōtāhuhu.

Neighbours surrounding Seaside Park in the suburb said they knew nothing of the death until daylight when they saw armed police guarding the area.

"We heard absolutely nothing and we were asleep with the window open," one woman said.

"The park has been really quiet lately with no trouble, it's a beautiful park."

First responders attempted to save the man but he died at the scene.

Speaking before last weekend's closed meeting, Goff and Salesa said they had come to listen to concerns rather than make promises.

Goff said that Police Commissioner Mike Bush had assured him that the Counties-Manukau district would get the highest proportion of new recruits, while Salesa said the Government's "Wellbeing Budget" would include investment in communities such as Ōtara.

Head of the Ōtara and Papatoetoe business associations, Rana Judge, also said he wanted to see tighter laws to combat the recruitment of children by gangs such as the Killer Beez, a higher police public presence, and more facilities for sport and hobbies.

Kia Aroha College principal Haley Milne also said last weekend saturating the area with police was not a long-term solution.

"It's those sort of things that are sticking plasters and I think when we are talking about countering violence but we've got armed police, it's a bit of a contradiction.

"It's about the long-term solution. Until we actually start addressing the root cause of what is happening we are not going to get anywhere really. "