Police warn they can't guarantee gang violence won't erupt again

Police warn they can't guarantee gang violence won't erupt again after two shootouts over the weekend.

Tensions between Black Power and Mongrel Mob gang members spilt over into violence in both Ruatoria and Taradale. 

Superintendent Tania Kura says police can't guarantee gang incidents such as the ones over the weekend won't happen again. 

On Saturday, shots rang out on McClutchie Road in Ruatoria after a gang clash. On Sunday, a 25-year-old man was shot in the face, head and torso in Taradale as 30 to 40 gang members brawled in the street. 

The man is in hospital in a serious but stable condition. 

"I don't think [police] can give a reassurance about anything involving people who are undisciplined, unpredictable and don't respect authority in any way," Kura told media on Tuesday. 

Police will remain on armed patrol in Ruatoria and Taradale for the foreseeable future, but Kura says there's not much they can do to curb the issue.

"How do you deal with people who are unpredictable? They're not disciplined," she said.

"The fact they don't want to come forward and talk to us - asking hundreds of gang members to cooperate, it's a bit of a stretch to ask the police to do that by themselves."

"We're reliant on the public," said Detective Inspector Rob Jones.

"We're asking the public with any information to please come forward and assist." 

He says the face of gangs in New Zealand is changing - and it could be contributing to the escalating violence.

"There are an increasing number of younger members not perhaps having the same level of respect for the elder members within those gangs," said Jones.

"With the increased numbers, and the recruitment of younger people [gang leaders] certainly don't have the same level of control as they once did."