A man on the run in Northland has been arrested following police negotiations with his family.

The 26-year-old Kawakawa man ran from a vehicle that drove through police road spikes and crashed on State Highway 10, near Pakaraka, about 3.40pm on Wednesday.

The man had two warrants for his arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm and he had a passenger in the car with him. A police helicopter was called to help with the search, along with armed police and tracking dogs.

SH10 was closed between Pakaraka and Oromahoe for several hours during the search, which was called off about 8.30pm and resumed yesterday morning.


Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston said thanks to information from locals, police were able to negotiate with members of the man's family. They took him by car to meet police on Hupara Rd, not far from where he was last seen, where he was taken into custody.

An Oromahoe resident caught up in the drama was hugely relieved to hear he had been arrested.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said she was at home on Wednesday afternoon when she saw a man with a distinctive tattoo around his neck walk past her window. She asked him what he was doing and he asked, very politely, if she could hide him.

When she asked who he was hiding from he answered, "from a gang".

"I said I didn't want a gang here, and told him to go the other way," the woman told the Northern Advocate.

Then she saw a police car on the highway with its lights flashing and put two and two together. She phoned her partner at work, he rang the police, and minutes later armed officers had arrested the vehicle's passenger on her driveway.

She said police with dogs straining at their leads took off up the hill behind her property while two officers with large rifles searched her house to make sure the other man hadn't snuck inside - but she forgot to tell them about the mannequins propped up in the garage.

"So that got them going for a bit," she said.

She could hear the police helicopter circling until about 8.30pm. Officers called at her house a few more times; on their last visit they told her the wanted man had fled towards Hupara Rd. Her partner got home after 8pm once the cordon was lifted at Pakaraka.

Mr Johnston said the hand-over went calmly and the wanted man was taken to Kaikohe police station to be interviewed. The Armed Offenders Squad was present at the handover.

Police found a number of firearms when they searched the crashed car. Charges had yet to be laid against the other man, aged 31, yesterday afternoon.