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Operation Mainland Release 6

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A man arrested in relation to the homicide enquiry into the death of a man in Waharoa yesterday appeared in the Hamilton District Court today.

The head of Operation Mainland, Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Nicholls of Waikato CIB, said the 23-year-old man had been charged with an assault on Desmond Francis Paddy ARAHANGA, 28.

Mr Arahanga was also known as Ollie or Olson Desmond Gage.

"Information on the assault came to light as a result of our enquiries into yesterday's fatal shooting.

"The offender appeared in court this morning where we applied for him to be remanded without plea, we're hopeful this arrest will go someway in lessening the tension prevailing in the Waharoa community at this time."

A firearm located near a Hedley St address, which is part of the homicide enquiry, was recovered yesterday and is currently being forensically examined.

That Hedley St address, believed to be linked to those responsible for the shooting, was itself torched in a suspicious fire about 9pm.

The house had been seized by members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad earlier yesterday and subject to a search warrant carried out by Police and ESR experts. "At the time of the fire the house was unoccupied, Police had formally signed over the house to the occupants shortly after 4pm," said Mr Nicholls.

A separate Police and Fire investigation is ongoing into the fire and examiners are at the scene today trying to establish what caused the blaze which extensively damaged the house both inside and out.

"It's too early to comment on the cause of the fire other than to say we can confirm an accelerant was used," said Mr Nicholls.

Matamata-Piako Police meanwhile are continuing to work with Waharoa community representatives to address concerns about the weekend's events and working to ensure calm.

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