Police have arrested Mongrel Mob and Black Power gang members after they were found with weapons in Hawke's Bay amid increased gang tensions.
Eastern police say they're continuing to make good progress investigating two recent firearms incidents in Ruatoria and Taradale, alongside responding to ongoing gang-related issues.
Around 12.35pm yesterday, police say they responded to a report of patched Mongrel Mob members converging in central Wairoa.
Upon arrival officers conducted a vehicle search and recovered two unlawful firearms and ammunition.
According to police, a 25-year-old man was arrested and is due to appear in Gisborne District Court today charged with two counts of unlawfully possessing a firearm and one count of unlawfully possessing ammunition.
In a separate incident, a 25-year-old Black Power associate was arrested about 9pm yesterday after being stopped by police.
Police say a knife was recovered along with a small quantity of methamphetamine, and the man is due to appear in Napier District Court in the coming days charged with possession of an offensive weapon and drugs offences.
"We are concerned about the current situation and the potential for violence and threatening behaviour on our streets," police said in a release about the arrests.
"A general arming order remains in place for frontline staff across the Eastern District as a precautionary measure.
"This order will be assessed on a regular basis and is in place to ensure the safety of our communities."
Police will hold a public meeting along with Napier City Council at the Taradale Community Hall at 3pm on Sunday 26 January to address the gang issue and public concerns.
The New Zealand Māori Council today called for a hui between the rival Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs in order to end the recent violence between them.
"There is no doubt the unrest and alleged violence is creating great grief not only in the community but also within the two groups – but I would also say this is not who we are both as a country and as Māori,” the councils executive director Matthe Tukaki said.
“Violence and the use of weapons, pouring hurt and pain on each other often trickles down to innocent people and bystanders – in particular whanau and tamariki.”