Canterbury police armed again amid fears of tit-for-tat violence between rival gangs

Canterbury police have been ordered to carry firearms for the second time in a fortnight amid fears of retaliation for the shooting of a gang leader’s son.

Stuff understands the arming order was issued on Thursday night after police received information about increasing tensions between the Rebels, Mongrel Mob Aotearoa, and the Mongols MC.

Members of the gangs are believed to have been involved in a double shooting in Kaiapoi on January 4. Fairmont Wiringi, the son of Mongrel Mob Aoteaora president Joseph ‘Junior’ Wiringi, was seriously injured in the incident and is recovering in hospital.

Police will remain armed while they carry out a significant investigation into the information they received.

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Mongrel Mob member Fairmont Joseph Wiringi is one of the victims of the shooting in Kaiapoi.

STACY SQUIRES/STUFF

Mongrel Mob member Fairmont Joseph Wiringi is one of the victims of the shooting in Kaiapoi.

“The community should be reassured that police are taking action to mitigate any concerns,” acting Canterbury district commander Detective Superintendent Tom Fitzgerald said on Friday.

Police were called to a property on Whitefield St, Kaiapoi, north of Christchurch, about 3.30am on January 4 after Wiringi arrived there seeking help.

The 22-year-old Mongrel Mob Aotearoa member had been shot in the arm and torso and was taken to Christchurch Hospital in a critical condition.

About 5am, a second man, Rebels gang member Jarrad Singer, 29, was dropped off at the hospital by two people, including a member of international bikie gang the Mongols MC. He had a gunshot wound to his arm but the injury wasn’t serious.

Singer and the two people who allegedly drove him to hospital – Mongols member Mokonuiarangi Chong, 23, and Tove Paranihi, 31 – were charged jointly with unlawfully possessing a firearm, which was found in the vehicle.

The charge against Paranihi has since been withdrawn.

No-one has been charged with shooting either Singer or Wiringi. Police issued an arming order after the shooting, which lapsed after 24 hours.

Fairmont Joseph Wiringi was hospitalised after a double shooting in Kaiapoi.

John Kirk-Anderson/Stuff

Fairmont Joseph Wiringi was hospitalised after a double shooting in Kaiapoi.

The shooting is thought to be linked to drugs rather than an underworld rivalry.

Stuff understands police suspect members of a fourth gang, the Neighbourhood Crips (NHC) were also involved.

It is understood that soon after the shooting, police came across a car in the wider Kaiapoi area that was driven by an NHC member. The occupants were spoken to before being allowed to leave.

The NHC, an American-style street gang known for wearing blue, has its roots in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs.

The group emerged as a player in the city’s underworld in 2014. Its leader is Rory Manuel – the son of Debbie Paul, who was murdered in a gang-related stabbing in 1985.

Police previously said gang members were involved in the shooting, but their affiliations did not appear to be the motivation for what happened.

It is not unusual for there to be a blurring of the lines between gangs, particularly when the sale and supply of drugs are involved.

The Mongols set up a South Island chapter led by former Hells Angels member Jason Ross last year, creating tension among rival groups.

Police in Christchurch have since investigated fire bombings and drive-by shootings linked to the gang’s arrival.

Stuff understands the Mongols, whose numbers locally have dwindled following recent arrests, have formed an alliance of sorts with the Rebels, another international bikie gang.

Mongrel Mob members are known to associate with NHC members.

There is no apparent link between the double shooting and another suspected murder in the greater Christchurch area this year.

Kane Wayman, 46, a Head Hunters associate, died after he was allegedly repeatedly punched and kicked on January 1 after a night of drinking at the Mongols’ South Island headquarters on the outskirts of Christchurch.

Wayman and a couple of dozen other people had attended a New Year’s Eve party at the gang pad.

Four people, including Mongols members, have been charged with his murder.

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