Man charged over Tauranga murders

A 25-year-old man has been charged with the murders of two men at a Tauranga property on Tuesday.

He is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court on Saturday.

The Bay of Plenty man was arrested in Christchurch on Friday afternoon after the armed offenders squad cornered him at a property in New Brighton. 

His arrest follows a dramatic police chase through Tauranga on Thursday night where another man wanted in connection with the murder was shot dead by police.

It's thought the two knew each other.

The two men are thought to be connected to a double homicide which occurred on Tuesday night at a house in Omanawa.

At about 7:40pm on Tuesday February 11, police received reports that shots had been fired at a property on Ormsby Lane. The circumstances of the deaths are still being investigated. 

Tauranga's Mayor Tenby Powell blames gangs for a recent spike in violence in the Tauranga area. 

In particular, he points to a correlation with the arrival of so-called '501s' - Kiwi gang members deported from Australia - and a growing level of "sophistication" for criminals here. 

"Things have changed. Not just here in Tauranga but in New Zealand.  With the 501 deportees coming out of Australia, the level of sophistication they bring, the level of violence they bring, and the frequency of which we're seeing it," Powell told The AM Show on Friday.