A spate of violent crimes over the weekend has sparked fresh fears about gun violence, with a local politician describing the carnage as the worst he has seen.

Two South Auckland councillors are calling for more youth workers to combat the cancer of gangs, and fearful parents say they are on edge - nervous of further bloodshed.

Police say some of the attacks are linked to organised crime.

In the past few days in Auckland alone a man were injured in a shooting near Karangahape Rd, another was stabbed at a bar in Manukau, while a third man died after a serious assault in Ōtāhuhu.


It follows a series of shootings in South Auckland - four of them fatal since March.

Manukau councillor Alf Filipaina, a former police officer, said urgent action was needed to counter the growing violence.

"It's getting crazy out there," he told the Herald.

But the problem was complex with different circumstances contributing to each violent incident, he said.

"What we are seeing is that firearms are the big player in this. That's the bigger issue."

Filipaina said he had never seen gun violence to this extent in Auckland.

"That's why it's important we get around the table and find solutions," he said.

"I don't know what the solution is but we need to find one quickly because more people are going to be seriously injured or even killed.

Republic Bar, in Westfield Mall, Manukau. The scene of a stabbing at 1:40am on Saturday morning. Photo / Supplied
Republic Bar, in Westfield Mall, Manukau. The scene of a stabbing at 1:40am on Saturday morning. Photo / Supplied

"That's not us. That's not our community. That's not New Zealand."

He called for more youth workers on the ground.

This was echoed by fellow Manukau councillor Efeso Collins who has been contacted by worried parents over the weekend.

"They are all feeling a little bit the edge of it now and are seriously nervous," he said.

Something similar happened about a decade ago while Collins was working a researcher, he said, and what they knew then was the importance of youth-workers.

Not only did they help those who were thinking about getting into gangs but they provided much-needed intelligence.

Collins said gang activity was linked to some of the violence and he was concerned somebody was "going to be caught in the cross-fire".

"We have to look at some of the societal factors that are driving this," he said.

"When you are poor and hungry you will turn to any institution that looks like it is going to provide you with a sense of belonging, friendship and a meal."

Community leaders needed to provide the necessary buffer before kids turned to gangs and away from society.

Police at the scene of a serious assault in Sturges Ave, Otahuhu on Saturday. Photo / Hayden Woodward
Police at the scene of a serious assault in Sturges Ave, Otahuhu on Saturday. Photo / Hayden Woodward

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said there had clearly been an increase in the number of shootings, particularly in South Auckland.

Any level of crime was unacceptable and had to be taken seriously, but there was no one perfect solution, he said.

"There are a range of initiatives that I think that we need to build on, most are primarily in the area of responsibility of central government."

Goff said police should continue cracking down on gang-related or organised crime and stripping away the proceeds of crime.

A crackdown was also needed on standard firearms which too often fell "into the wrong hands".

Not all violence was gang-related, some was family harm or alcohol-related, he said.

There were disproportionate problems with people who were "raised in dysfunctional families".

"Kids who have gotten a rotten start in life."

Therefore the causes of crime needed to be tackled in the area of welfare and educational reform, Goff said.

"There won't be a single perfect solution, but unless we get action across those areas then the risk is that this sort of violence could continue."

Auckland mayor Phil Goff says any level of crime was unacceptable and had to be taken seriously, but there was no one perfect solution. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Auckland mayor Phil Goff says any level of crime was unacceptable and had to be taken seriously, but there was no one perfect solution. Photo / Jason Oxenham

It was unknown if it is a one-off spike or becoming an entrenched pattern but he was worried about copy-cat behaviour.

"We can't afford our society to deteriorate to that degree."

Counties Manukau Police Detective Inspector Tofilau Faa Va'aelua said police acknowledged the community's concerns about the number of serious crime incidents in the Counties Manukau district this year.

While the violence was concerning, police stressed that arrests had been made in all these incidents and individuals held to account.

"We have arrested and charged every single offender responsible for each of the homicides in Counties Manukau which has been the subject of recent media reports," he said.

"We have also recovered every single firearm weapon allegedly used in each homicide case - which I must point out is a rarity but a great achievement by our investigators.

"We have also recovered all except one of the firearms in all of the reported shootings where a victim has sustained gunshot injuries."

However, even after the outstanding results by police in prosecuting offenders, it would not resolve issues in the community, he said.

Police could not do this on their own and could not simply arrest their way out of the problem, he said.

"There needs to be a whole-of-community approach to these issues around organised crime, firearms, violence and family harm.

"A number of these cases allegedly involved an element of organised crime and police continue to warn people about the dangers of getting involved with these kinds of criminal groups."

A trail of violence and crime

• August 25:

A man was shot on Cross St, near K Road in central Auckland.

• August 24: A man died after being assaulted in the Auckland suburb of Ōtāhuhu.

• August 24: A 31-year-old man was seriously injured after being stabbed at a bar in Manukau, South Auckland.

• August 23: A home invasion in Auckland suburb of Onehunga left one person injured.

• August 22: A 5-month-old baby boy died in Whangārei sparking a homicide investigation. Police arrested a 28-year-old man at the scene and he was charged with assaulting the child.

• August 22: A 48-year-old man died in Tokoroa sparking a homicide investigation. A 29-year-old man was charged with murder and appeared in the Rotorua District Court.

• August 17: Irina Scantee died on the Kapiti Coast. A 48-year-old man was charged with murder.

• August 16: Australian tourist Sean McKinnon was fatally shot while free camping at Te Toto Gorge carpark south of Raglan. A 23-year-old was charged with his murder.

• August 9: A man suffered life-threatening injuries after a shooting at Billington Ave in Ōtara. The South Auckland property was described by neighbours as being occupied by gang members.

• August 2: Jasmine Wilson died in Wellington Hospital on August 2, two days after she was taken to Whanganui Hospital in a critical condition. Police have arrested three people in connection with the case.

• July 29: A woman was fatally stabbed on Westgate Drive in Massey, West Auckland. A 63-year-old was charged with murder and breaching a protection order.

• July 26: A teenager was taken to hospital in a critical condition after a shooting on Featherston Cres, in Ōtara. A 34-year-old man was charged with wounding.

• July 6: A woman was shot at a property on Dawson Rd, Clover Park in South Auckland. Two young men, aged 17 and 20, were charged with wounding.

• May 25: Samiuela Anania Tupou was fatally shot at Seaside Park in the Auckland suburb of Ōtāhuhu.Two men charged with murdering the 21-year-old have pleaded not guilty.
• May 17: Joseph Siaosi was fatally shot by an occupant of a car as he walked away from a confrontation in South Auckland. The 23-year-old died on the front lawn of the family home in Piako St, Ōtara. Two people have been charged in connection with the death.

• April 26: Killer Beez gang president Josh Masters was shot at a Harley Davidson store in the East Auckland suburb of Mt Wellington. Masters was hospitalised in a critical condition. A 39-year-old man was charged with attempted murder.

• April 20: Father-of-five Siaosi Tulua, 39, was fatally shot at his home on Darnell Cres, in Clover Park. A 22-year-old has been charged with his murder.

• March 13: Arthur (Afa) Brown, 26, was fatally shot on Vine St in Māngere just before 1am. A 20-year-old male has pleaded not guilty to murder.