Five of the eight people arrested in the Kevin Ratana homicide inquiry have appeared in Whanganui District Court.

A 27-year-old man pleaded not guilty to two charges of threatening to kill and another of participating in organised criminal activity.

The group were all granted interim name suppression by Judge Philip Crayton when they appeared on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a 31-year-old man is co-accused in relation to the two charges of threatening to kill and he was remanded in custody until September 18.

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Three other people were all remanded in custody until the same date.

They are aged 27, 30 and 33 and have also been charged with participating in organised criminal activity.

The 33-year-old and 27-year-old also face charges of unlawfully carrying or possessing firearms or restricted weapons.

Another 34-year-old man was charged with participating in organised criminal activity and unlawfully carrying or possessing a firearm, but failed to appear in the court.

The 27-year-old who pleaded not guilty elected for a judge alone trial and will be reappear in Whanganui District Court on October 9.

Several people appeared in the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday in relation to the ongoing investigation into the homicide of Kevin Ratana.
Several people appeared in the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday in relation to the ongoing investigation into the homicide of Kevin Ratana.

Detective Inspector Ross McKay said on Tuesday that as the homicide investigation continues police expect to lay further charges.

Police had cordoned off Tiki St on Monday, which is around the corner from where Ratana, a Mongrel Mob member, was shot dead.

Ratana, 27, was gunned down in Puriri St, Castlecliff at about 9.40am last Tuesday morning, amid reports of a gang clash in the suburb.

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A tribute to Kevin Ratana spay painted in the Whanganui suburb of Aramoho. Photo/ Bevan Conley
A tribute to Kevin Ratana spay painted in the Whanganui suburb of Aramoho. Photo/ Bevan Conley

His tangi began on Monday and police drafted in extra resources, including the police Eagle helicopter, as more gang members arrive in the city.

Police have promised a "high visibility" presence in Whanganui over the next few days.