A bus load of school children are calling their driver a hero after he stopped a group of armed teenagers from getting on the bus.

Police responded to an incident on Te Aute Road this afternoon where a group of five teenagers had attempted to get on a school bus carrying Hastings Boys and Hastings Girls High Students.

The group of two females and three males had an issue with a group of students who were on the bus.

The driver managed to stop the group at the door and in doing so was assaulted.

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The five left and then returned carrying a number of weapons which they used to smash windows on the bus.

Police arrived and the group fled but were quickly found and arrested.

A group of Hastings Boys High School students said the incident had been "terrifying".

They said the group had only been prevented from boarding the bus because of the bus driver, and another student.

The bus driver said: "I was just doing my job, when they're on the bus, they're my responsibility." The five teenagers will face a number of charges including possession of an offensive weapon, wilful damage and assault.

Police were concerned at the pack mentality and that when the youths were arrested three of them were carrying knives.

A police spokesman said: "A classic example of non consequential thinking by young people that could have gone very badly wrong."