By Rachel Parkin
The middle-aged man who was shot early yesterday at Makara Beach near Wellington has a history of paua poaching in the Wellington area.
Fifty-five-year-old Tulo Tuala is in a stable condition in Hutt Hospital and two men have appeared in court over the shooting.
Today Makara Beach was back to business and the fish were biting. It was a stark contrast to yesterday's crime scene, where father and grandfather Mr Tuala dragged himself to a house with serious gunshot wounds.
Police are investigating just how and why he was shot in the shoulder before sunrise.
Two men have faced court charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Police can't comment on the case while it's before the court, but 3 News has learned Mr Tuala has a history of offending on the Wellington coastline.
In 2009 he was sentenced to one year in prison for paua poaching near Titahi Bay, assault with a weapon and other fishing charges. In several hours Mr Tuala and a friend gathered more than 500 paua. The legal limit per person, per day, is 10.
Makara resident Mark Raukawa is fed up with people flouting the law.
"We try to police it ourselves sometimes," he says. "But sometimes it gets a bit hard when we're by ourselves. We just need more people ringing in 0800 numbers more often.
"A lot of them aren't big-time poachers... a lot of them are just [out\ to get the under-sized ones to take home."
3 News understands Mr Tuala used paua poaching to support his daughter and three grandchildren and that yesterday's shooting was both paua and gang-related.
Mr Tuala is now stable in the plastics and burns unit of Hutt Hospital. It is understood the gunshot wounds to his shoulder put him at ask of amputation.
The two men charged over the shooting have been remanded in custody until next month. Video.