Hawke's Bay gang members take note: Look at killed Whanganui toddler Jhia Te Tua's face.

Jhia, 2, died in a drive-by shooting, a result of several confrontations between members of the Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs, in 2007.

Hawke's Bay's top cop says Jhia's short life is something East Coast gang members should remember, before they brawl in busy Napier streets and parks or fire guns into the fray.

In Taradale on Sunday a pellet from a shotgun hit a car seat which had a child strapped into it as rival gangs Mongrel Mob and Black Power clashed about 1pm.

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The child was unharmed. A 25-year-old man had injuries to his face, eye and torso as a result of a single gunshot in the same confrontation which saw 30 to 40 gang members spill into Gloucester St.

The man has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon after the shooting and is due to appear in Hastings District Court on Wednesday.

Eastern District Commander Superintendent Tania Kura said at a press conference in Hastings on Tuesday that she wants gang members to look at Jhia's picture and say "is this what we want?".

"It would be horrendous," Kura said.

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Kura and Detective Inspector Rob Jones said police were following positive lines of inquiry into the Taradale shooting, and a similar but unrelated shooting in Ruatoria.

"We don't know why they happened. It could be drugs, could be tit for tat, it's stuff we will never know," Kura said.

Tania Kura, Eastern District Commander Superintendent. Photo / Warren Buckland
Tania Kura, Eastern District Commander Superintendent. Photo / Warren Buckland

"There is a growing number of younger gang members and the older hierarchy can't control the young cohort the way they used to."

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But neither can the police on their own, she said.

"We have a gang focus unit but it is not a silver bullet. It is only part of our jigsaw about how we deal with crime," Kura said.

"This [gang violence] is well beyond police. We need the help of the community and the whanau.

"We can't give reassurance about anything," she said in response to whether the police could offer any reassurance about a similar incident not happening again.

She said the police were going through CCTV footage which would provide them with more information about what happened in Taradale.

"The CCTV captured some footage," Kura said.

"We would also like to hear from anyone with CCTV or dash cam footage that may assist these investigations."

She said police were also in touch with senior gang leaders to map out what could be done.

"The senior gang leaders have shown a willingness to start dialogue," Kura said.

L-R Rob Jones, Detective Inspector, Tania Kura, Eastern District Commander Superintendent at a Hastings police press conference about recent gang violence. Photo / Warren Buckland
L-R Rob Jones, Detective Inspector, Tania Kura, Eastern District Commander Superintendent at a Hastings police press conference about recent gang violence. Photo / Warren Buckland

In the interim Jones said extra officers were in Tairāwhiti and Hawke's Bay to "boost capability and visibility".

The public could expect heavy police presence, including armed officers, as inquiries continue.

"We have 10 extra staff from the frontline," to help and bushmaster rifles and pistols will be available to them.

"They will be doing eight to 10 hour shifts."

Kura said the general arming order would be lifted when it was deemed fit to.

"We will need the reassurance that things aren't continuing to happen [in terms of gang activity] before we lift the general arming order."

One person will be appearing in the Hastings District Court on Wednesday following the Taradale incident, but there will be more arrests made, Kura said.