A woman and two children have been found safe and well in Hawke’s Bay after fears they had been taken hostage, police say.
Eastern Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Dana McDonald, said the navy blue Toyota Surf the family of four had been travelling in was stopped by police in Napier shortly before 7pm.
Members of the public had raised concerns about the family after seeing them in their vehicle in Cambridge about 2.20pm.
"Waikato staff are currently liaising with our Eastern District colleagues but at this stage the important thing is all members of the family have been accounted for safe and well,’’ McDonald said.
He thanked the police officers and members of the public who had helped in the search for the family.
Speaking to TV3, McDonald earlier said ‘‘In Cambridge the female member of the vehicle spoke to a member of the public just saying she was scared for her safety and to ring police.’’
Soon after, unconfirmed sightings of the vehicle near Waihi led police on a district wide hunt for the vehicle, and members of the Armed Offenders Squad were seen gathered at the Waihi Police station.
The male driver of the Toyota vehicle was understood to be a licensed firearms holder, adding further concern to an already tense situation. However, police confirmed tonight that no firearm was found in the vehicle.
- © Fairfax NZ News