Police are still hunting a man the believe stole a patrol car at gunpoint in Ohakune last night.

Two officers had stopped a vehicle in Wye St for a breath test about 10.20pm and were talking to the driver when a man who was partly hidden in the back seat got out and pointed a gun at them.

While holding them at gunpoint the man, and another female passenger, got into the patrol car and drove away.

Police believe the car thief is Tama Michael Rawhiti, a 33-year-old man from Marton.


The police car crashed into a gatepost not long after and the pair fled on foot.

The officers located their vehicle by commandeering the car they had stopped.

Central District Commander Superintendent Chris de Wattignar this afternoon said Rawhiti was still on the loose.

"Armed police today searched a number of properties in the Ohakune area but are yet to locate the suspect, Tama Michael Rawhiti," he said.

"Residents will continue to notice an increased police presence and we'd like to thank them for their patience and support of our staff.

"We believe Rawhiti is in possession of at least one firearm and should not be approached."

Anyone who sees him should call 111 immediately.

Other information that may assist police in locating him can be provided by calling 105 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.