Police say they have tasered a man who confronted them with a weapon following a blood spattered brawl in Invercargill early this morning.
It is believed to be the first time South Island police have used a Taser, which delivers a disabling 50,000 volt jolt to the target, since they became available to South Island officers on Tuesday.
The 45-year-old man was quickly disabled and suffered no long lasting effects, said Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes of Invercargill police.
He was checked out by a police doctor and charged with possession of an offensive weapon. Another man was charged with aggravated burglary.
Mr Raynes said police were initially called to Lauder Cr about 1.50am following reports of shots being fired.
They arrived to find a number of people fighting using a variety of weapons but the people ran off.
Three police officers then went to a house where windows had been smashed and were confronted by two men, armed with a wooden stick and baton, Mr Raynes said.
Two police officers drew their firearms and the third his stun gun. One of the men was challenged and the taser used on him, Mr Raynes said.
Police recovered knives, clubs, large rocks, bottles and an axe from the street and front lawns. There was also an amount of blood in several areas of the street, Mr Raynes said.
Mr Raynes said police were confident there were no firearms involved, despite the initial call.
However, he was unable to say whether it was gang-related.
Some people involved in the brawl suffered minor injuries and police were still making inquiries into the incident, he said.
The taser unit recorded the incident on video and the video would form part of a review of the incident.
"Although staff drew their firearms, the use of the Taser shows the benefit of having another, less violent, option available to them.
"This is an excellent example of the tactical option model at work."
Nearly 700 of the stun guns will be available to 3500 front line police throughout the country by August.
However, their use here has been criticised by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
The committee has suggested he Government "should consider relinquishing the use of electro-muscular disruption devices", and ensure officers only use stun guns on people in incidents where they would otherwise need to shoot to kill.
However, Police Association president Greg O'Connor today slammed the suggestion as absurd.
"Perhaps they should be a little better informed about the state of violence against police officers in New Zealand," he told Radio New Zealand.
Officers were being assaulted in ever greater numbers, and many wanted the weapons as soon as possible.