Police have confirmed a shooting at a central Auckland hotel on Thursday is connected to two other recent gang-related incidents.
The Armed Offenders Squad stormed the luxury Sofitel Hotel in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour on Thursday morning after a shot was fired. Officers then rushed to a property in the suburb of Ōrākei, blocking roads and putting a local marae into lockdown.
No one was injured in the incident and three people are now assisting people with their investigations. No arrests have been made at this stage.
Police have now confirmed the incident involved individuals from the Head Hunters and Mongols gangs, and "relates to ongoing issues between Individuals who are members of those gangs".
Five people were arrested and a number of weapons and explosives were found after police carried out a search warrant at a Murray's Bay address on Wednesday.
The five people were said at the time to be "members of outlaw motorcycle gangs" and have been charged in relation to the unlawful possession of explosives. One was charged with the unlawful possession of a pistol and ammunition.
"Police also believe [Thursday's] incident is linked to another firearms incident where shots were fired at the Head Hunters gang pad on Marua Road, Mt Wellington last weekend."
Police's confirmation on Friday that members of the Head Hunters and Mongols gangs were involved in the Auckland CBD incident backs up a statement from Police Minister Poto Williams on Thursday.
She said she understand a conflict had arisen between the two groups, but police at the time said they weren't sure how Williams got that information and it didn't come from them. A spokesperson for Williams later said she stood by the remarks.
Detective Inspector John Sutton said on Friday that police are sending a strong warning to the gangs "regarding this reckless, dangerous and unlawful behaviour".
"While nobody was injured in this incident, what we saw at the Sofitel yesterday was extremely concerning. Members of the public were present and their safety was put at risk," he said.
"Police will not tolerate these crimes and we have a large team working around the clock to ensure we identify and arrest all of those involved."
Photos from Orakei on Thursday showed police on the corner of Tamaki Dr and Kitemoana St, which was blocked off to motorists and pedestrians.
Ōrākei School, a few streets back from the domain, said it wasn't asked to lockdown like the marae, but confirmed an Eagle helicopter had been circling the area.
A Sofitel Viaduct employee told Newshub there had been a "security threat" earlier and shots fired. A guest said the whole thing was "a bit scary".
"We came down for breakfast about 9am and it had virtually happened just then," he said. "It's a bit like an adventure; it doesn't really happen very often at New Zealand hotels."
Police are urging anyone with information that may assist enquiries to contact the Operation MALIK team on (09) 302 6623, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
"We also continue to appeal for witnesses or anyone who was in the vicinity of Viaduct Harbour Avenue between 9am and 10am on Thursday morning to contact Police if they are yet to do so."