Two police officers have been assaulted while carrying out a routine stop in North Canterbury.
The officers had stopped three vehicles on State Highway 1, in the small town of Cheviot.
Police said three men got out and began assaulting them.
One of the officers received minor facial injuries as a result.
Members of the local Fire Service were called to the scene at about 2.30pm to offer support as more police staff made their way to the site.
"Police would like to thank the Cheviot Volunteer Fire Brigade for their prompt service and support. The local community can be proud of the services working together in rural areas to keep the community safe,'' a Police statement said.
"This is an example of the potential risks of Policing in rural areas but also an example of the excellent work rural staff do to resolve dangerous situations."
Cheviot volunteer fire brigade chief Ira McNabb said two fire trucks with nine fire fighters attended the incident to "diffuse the situation".
"We turned up to support the police before more [police] arrived."
He didn't comment further.
Hurunui District Council mayor Winton Dalley said while he wasn't aware of the incident yet, he was "totally devastated" when he heard the news.
"Our local police officers are fantastic and I'm totally devastated they were hurt.
"An assault on a police officer is an assault to our community," he said.
Three men have been arrested and will appear in the Christchurch District Court.