Police armed with rifles are hunting down a violent offender in Wainuiomata, in Lower Hutt, after the man abandoned his car following a short chase.
Police attempted to stop the car, which was thought to be involved in earlier offending, at about 8.40am.
After a short chase down Coast Rd, the driver stopped and fled the vehicle into bush, Senior Sergeant Steve Braybrook said.
About half a dozen officers and a police dog were now scouring bush and a nearby river looking for the 32-year-old.
It was not clear whether he was armed, Braybrook said, so police were taking every precaution.
''It's in response to that same fleeing driver. He is a known violent offender who has access to firearms. And because of that, as a precaution, we ensure we have to options available to us, whatever we might face.''
He was described as a tall, thin European man, wearing a light coloured shirt and dark trousers.
''We know who the offender is. He has a propensity for violence. It's not for the community to be concerned about, but he doesn't want to be caught by police.
''He's gone into bush near the river that runs parallel to Coast Rd. It's a possibility that he's gone for a swim.''
- © Fairfax NZ News