Hawke's Bay's top cop says an on-edge Taradale community needs to step up and talk to police about what they saw during a gang brawl in the main street, or risk them walking free due to a lack of evidence.
Eastern District Commander Superintendent Tania Kura told Radio NZ on Friday that officers had approached many who had been at the chaotic Gloucester St scene, which police say ended with gunshots fired into the fray about 1pm.
She said people did not seem to want to "follow through" with statements to police, but the community would be "stronger" if they came together to give evidence.
She said while police were going through CCTV footage they needed someone willing to testify, otherwise "we don't have enough to prosecute".
Kura said the community should stand behind those who did give evidence and support them to do so.
The reluctance to say anything about the brawl was evident when Hawke's Bay Today paid a visit to local shops on Friday.
Of six shops visited, all bar one declined to comment about the incident. Most said it had nothing to do with them and they had no intention of getting involved.
Assistant manager of the Taradale 1 Stop Superette, Akashdeep Singla said if he was asked, he would be happy to report that the fight happened.
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Singla said he couldn't offer specifics in terms of familiarity with faces because he didn't see any.
"I just saw a big fight, police came and blocked the roads. The fight impacted our business," Singla said.
With the shop closed for the day as a result, Singla said he'd lost about $1000 worth of business as a result.
But he also said that despite the fight, he personally had nothing against gang members.
"Heaps of gang members come to our shop and they are nice to us."
Police are holding a public meeting with Napier City Council, and Minister of Police and local MP Stuart Nash at the Taradale Community Hall on Sunday at 3pm, a week after the shooting, to speak with the community about ongoing gang-related issues and wider community safety concerns.
Singla said he was unsure whether he would be attending the public meeting on Sunday, but did add that he would try to make it.
Taradale Senior Constable John Gillon said the meeting would be the ideal place for people to air their grievances and concerns.
Gillon said he will be at the meeting and would be happy to meet people and talk to them if they were concerned about their safety or had other issues.
"So far I haven't had the feedback that there's safety concerns in the community."
He has been policing the Taradale community for more than a decade and said until the incident on Sunday and one in Anderson Park late last year, "we have had it pretty good out here".
Nash on Friday paid a visit to Taradale and had a private meeting with the owners of Shani's Family Eatery and Bar, which was in close vicinity to where the fight broke out.
He echoed Kura's sentiments.
"Let's work together on this," Nash said.
"What I would say is we are also seeking to increase penalties for firearms crimes. I would like National to support us on that.
"I think [it would be good] if all of Parliament comes together and says we are simply not going to tolerate firearms crime in our communities."
So far one 25-year-old man has been remanded in custody in relation to the shooting on one firearm charge and another unlawful assembly charge.
The charged man had injuries to his face, eye and torso as a result of a pellet that was shot during the fray, police say.