Police Minister Poto Williams tells Aucklanders hearing gunfire on street to ring police, Crimestoppers

The Government's exploring ways to crack down on gangs - including seizing their assets - as pressure mounts to stop the recent surge of gang-related shootings in Auckland.

The National Party's eyeing up Aussie methods like banning gang gatherings and insignia, but experts say making gangs less visible doesn't drive down crime.

Broken glass and frightened residents - what's believed to be another gang shooting in Auckland overnight has prompted politicians into some very early election campaign talk. 

"Next year, if people accept that we're ready to govern and they're gonna give us the chance to do that, we're gonna come with a much tougher approach to gangs," said National's police spokesperson Mark Mitchell. 

"National every time they want to get elected to Government, they bring out this 'tough on crime' macho view of the world - it has failed for five decades," said Greens co-leader James Shaw.

The ongoing gang turf war links back to the shooting of Killer Beez boss Josh Masters in 2019 by his friend Tribesmen enforcer Okusitino Tae, paralysing Masters and souring the gangs' relations. Tae was denied parole just before the renewed tensions erupted, renewing political debate on gangs too

"The way that organised crime operates is changing, and we have to change with it," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

ACT is accusing the Prime Minister of talking up gun reform on her US trip as gang shootings erupted at home.

"She often believes saying the right thing is as good as doing the right thing," ACT leader David Seymour said.

But Ardern hit back at the "political pot shots that do nothing to keep our community safer or support our police".

Western Australia has introduced police powers to dismantle gangs - including jail terms for gang members meeting up and banning the wearing of patches in public.

If Mitchell had his way, that'd be National's policy.

"It's something that's worn as a symbolic gesture by those gangs to intimidate and put fear into members of the public and put fear into members of the public."

But experts say Australia's gangs measures have not seen crime rates go down.

"Anyone who's seeing them as a simple panacea, a silver bullet, to our issues is mistaken and hasn't looked at the issue closely enough," said Jarrod Gilbert, sociologist and gang expert.

Police are already able to seize luxury cars and cash from gangs and the Government's looking to strengthen that law to target organised crime figures who benefit financially.

"Targetting gangs where it hurts the most, in their pockets, but also disrupting their activities as far as we can," said Police Minister Poto Williams. 

There's been hints from the Government at hitting gangs in the pocket, but no commitment on when.

The Police Minister had this message to Auckland residents hearing gunfire in their street. 

"Please get in touch with the police or contact Crimestoppers."

This is National positioning itself ahead of the election to appear to be tough on crime while painting Labour as too soft, despite National still working on its policy. 

But this political squabble is no help for Aucklanders at the frontline being told to call the cops if they hear shots.