Community on edge as gang tensions in Canterbury increase

Gang tensions in Canterbury have been increasing in recent days with police still at the scene of a double shooting on Monday.

Four people have been charged with the murder of a man who was dropped at Christchurch Hospital and died, also thought to have been involved with gangs.

Three days on from a double shooting in Kaiapoi and police are still piecing together what happened. But what was immediately clear is it's related to increasing gang tension.

"I think it's a combination of things, partly it's because of the influx of gangs from Australia following the deportations which has upset the balance which normally resides over the gang scene," says criminologist Greg Newbold.

The Mongols bikie gang arrived from Australia and set up shop in the Bay of Plenty in 2019 before expanding into Christchurch last year.

In the last few months, gangs have become more visible in the city.

"There was no doubt about that you would frequently see patch members riding around on their bikes which you didn't see before so there's definitely a higher profile of gang activity in Christchurch than there was," Newbold says.

Newbold says it's a nationwide problem. Last year there were many raids of headquarters of gangs that had come over from Australia and seizures of millions of dollars worth of goods.

And just last week the inmates who ignited an inferno in protest against Waikeria Prison were gang members.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said most of them were from the Mongol and Comanchero gangs. Newshub understands at least five of them were 501 deportees.

Although three people have been charged in relation to the double shooting here in Kaiapoi, police are still talking to members of the Kaiapoi community for further information.

They're reassuring the public they are committed to holding those responsible to account. But locals are unsettled with the increased gang activity.

"Bit close for comfort I thought," one person says.

"Pretty scary stuff really filtering out to the communities," another adds.

A community on edge, as gangs are once again dominating headlines.