Bay of Plenty siege arrest: Officer rejects hero tag gallery video


Police Commissioner Mike Bush talks to media with Taupo area commander Warwick Morehu following Thursday morning's arrest.

The police officer who walked into a cordon to bring out the alleged gunman in the Bay of Plenty siege says he's no hero. 

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Four police officers were shot - with one sustaining serious injuries - on Wednesday, sparking an armed siege with a man who had been holed up in a house in Onepu Springs Rd, near Kawerau. 

Taupo area commander Warwick Morehu rejected a suggestion he was a hero.

Taupo area commander Warwick Morehu rejected a suggestion he was a hero.

Taupo area commander Warwick Morehu came out from behind his desk to bring the siege to a peaceful end.

READ MORE: More armed offenders in New Zealand - Police Association 

Rhys Warren, 27, had been taken into custody "without incident", police said.

Rhys Warren, 27, had been taken into custody "without incident", police said.

Police arrested Rhys Warren, 27, taking him into custody "without incident" just after 9am on Thursday morning.

Morehu, who was also a Maori liaison officer, had helped talk down the alleged shooter.

"To me the heroes are the guys that went to hospital yesterday," he told media.

A family spokesperson has condemned police for ignoring their pleas to help get the alleged gunman out.


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Family messages with Warren had stopped the siege from becoming a tragedy.

The arrest followed "lengthy contact throughout the night with the individual by police negotiators and other police staff," police said.


The mother of the alleged shooter in a house surrounded by police says she can get him out.

Warren's mother, Renee Wetini, said a combined effort had convinced her boy to give himself up.

Warren had used social media to talk with friends and whanau overnight.

Wetini said her son was in "a dark hole" but started to come to a mental state of clarity towards morning.

A timeline of the siege where four police officers were shot.

He was in tears when she last spoke to him.

"He was starting to cry - he was starting to come to a clarity."

Warren would be given a medical check and taken to Whakatane police station, where he would be interviewed.

Family do a karakia as police confirm the alleged gunman is in custody.

Family do a karakia as police confirm the alleged gunman is in custody.


Wetini said she had gone on the internet to find "big shot" lawyers from Auckland who would be coming down.

​"Now we go to the next step - get the lawyer to help us. We didn't realise how much support we had."

Army vehicles were used to provide support to police during the operation.

Army vehicles were used to provide support to police during the operation.

She said police assumed someone from her house shot at a police plane, which sparked the police cordons, but they had no proof.

She admitted shed been "too proud" to ask for help from whanau for her boy.

"The family is going at 100 miles an hour working and we're not at home to help him. To see that something's not quite right."

The cordon remained in place on Thursday morning.

The cordon remained in place on Thursday morning.

Wetini was visibly upset after the siege came to an end just after 9am, and was comforted by whanau.

Warren's family had set themselves up a makeshift camp at the police cordon overnight. One family member was taken away in an unmarked police car about midnight.

His mother had earlier pleaded with police to let family bring him out of the house.

Armed officers are standing by at the scene of the Kawerau shooting.
Bevan Read

Armed officers are standing by at the scene of the Kawerau shooting.


Police Commissioner Mike Bush told media one of the officers had been shot in the head.

It was believed three officers were shot with a shotgun and one might have been shot with a .22 rifle.

The road block at the corner of Onepu Springs Road and State Highway 30.
Bevan Read

The road block at the corner of Onepu Springs Road and State Highway 30.

Talking at a press conference shortly after 11.30am on Thursday, he said it was his understanding that three officers were inside the house.

He said the police officer with a head wound "will be operated on as we speak".

Earlier he told RNZ it was thought some of the wounded officers were shot at close range.

Police said no one had been arrested and the incident remains live.

Police said no one had been arrested and the incident remains live.

He had discounted an earlier suggestion the wounded police had been injured in a gun accident.

Police had been on the ground in the area for the cannabis recovery operation and "stayed in situation" when shots were heard, and the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) called immediately. 

Bay of Plenty AOS squad members came in, and it was those highly trained staff who were shot.

One of the four police officers shot during an armed incident at a rural property in the Bay of Plenty is a recognised ...

One of the four police officers shot during an armed incident at a rural property in the Bay of Plenty is a recognised hero for his past deeds.

One officer remained in a serious but stable condition in hospital, while two of his colleagues had been discharged. Another officer remained in hospital, requiring further treatment for a gunshot wound to their hand.


While the siege was underway the alleged gunman had been keeping in touch with whanau and friends by text messages and social media posts from inside the house, the family said.

Acting commissioner Mike Clement said the officers were being treated in hospital.

Acting commissioner Mike Clement said the officers were being treated in hospital.

His mother had earlier said: "We can get him out. We're confident."

"Son, we love you, you better come out, there is more for us on this Earth."

Her son had got a job helping build a local geothermal park, where she found out Mongrel Mob gang members were also working, she said.

Before working at the geothermal park, her son had done a carpentry course and had planned to join the army, but was too young. 

 - Stuff

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