Gang members hindered emergency staff who were searching for a missing person following a house fire in Whangarei overnight.
Police and fire crews were called to the William Jones Drive property in Otangerei about 1.20am.
The house and a car were "well involved" when fire crews arrived, northern fire communications shift manager Paul Radden said. There were reports of a person inside the home, but an initial search was unsuccessful.
Mr Radden said a further search in daylight also found no sign of a person, so it was believed there was nobody home. Police said they were hindered by the actions of gang members attending a party at a nearby address.
An attempt was made to break into a police car attending the scene.
Whangarei CIB and a fire investigator were investigating the cause of the fire.