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Top Waikato police officer reiterates 'absolutely no risk' to public following string of gang connected homicides

A top Waikato police officer has assured the general public there is no risk to their safety after three gang-related homicides in the last month, adding they are being treated as "coincidental".

Superintendent Bruce Bird says at this stage police are treating the three murders since June 30 as separate investigations. Source: Breakfast

Superintendent Bruce Bird spoke to TVNZ 1's Breakfast today, urging people in Waikato to "go about your business as you would".

"At this stage here we've got three homicides that we're treating individually, we see them remarkable as just a coincidence that they've occurred in this short time frame," Superintendent Bird said.

"We're looking at it from that perspective there, we don't see any escalation in gang violence through the Waikato, and we can assure everyone in the Waikato, just go about your business, we'll do our job in investigating these crimes and we will hold those people responsible to account."

Police in Waikato are in the midst of three homicide investigations, all of which are believed to be gang linked.

Over 60 staff are working on the cases, and other specialists have been called in from around New Zealand.

On Saturday July 8, 23-year-old Robert Nelson was shot dead at his girlfriend's house. She was injured and another young man badly hurt.

The body of Ngāruawāhia man Mitchell Curtis Rehua Paterson was found in the water at McLaren Falls near Tauranga on Friday.

Three people have been arrested in connection to Paterson's death.

A 27-year-old man, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

A 49-year-old man has been charged with presenting a firearm at police and unlawful possession of a firearm. And a 33-year-old man has been charged with breach of release conditions.

Late last month Huntly man Wayne Noda was found dead at his home on June 30, and police believe his injuries were inflicted during an assault.

"These are complex investigations that take time however we are confident that they will be resolved and those responsible will be held to account," Waikato District Commander Superintendent Bruce Bird said in a statement. 

"Across the investigations there are a number of people assisting Police and there are also persons of interest. Investigations to date indicate that these people have significant links with criminal gangs."

"As with all investigations we are keeping an open mind on whether the homicides are linked, however inquiries to date lead us to believe the three deaths were targeted individual acts within the gang community," said Superintendent Bird.