Police have now arrested four people on serious charges following a crime spree and the outcome that has rocked the small town of Waipū.

Initially three arrests were made for a raft of offences after a police search carried out on January 25 on a house rented by the principal of Waipū Primary School.

The principal, Jo Brown, was away from her home for several weeks over summer, including at the time of the search, and was not one of the arrested people.

"At the property, Police recovered a number of items, including jewellery and firearms, that were connected to four burglaries in the Waipū area. A large amount of methamphetamine was also located at the scene,'' a Police spokesman confirmed.


The multiple charges the four arrested people face include for possession of firearms, a significant quantity of methamphetamine and cannabis, and theft of a range of allegedly stolen items found at the property, he said.

Two men, aged 36 and 37 were arrested and face a number of burglary, firearm and drug related charges. A 17-year-old female also faces burglary and firearm charges. They are due to appear in the Whangārei District Court on February 18.

A 38-year-old woman is due to appear in the Whangārei District Court on February 11, also facing multiple charges including theft.

One of the men, Christopher Ngarino, had been living with Brown at the rented house in The Braigh for 18 months. She had described him as a friend she had been helping through health issues.

In an email sent to the school community, Brown claimed she was unaware criminal activities had been taking place at her home, and she had since severed her connections with the arrested man.

Police said that as the matter is now before the courts, they are unable to comment further on the case.

Catherine Munro, Waipū school board of trustees chair, said last week said the board accepted that school property and personnel were not involved in the alleged crimes, and the principal was not under suspicion.

The board was working closely with the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association to ensure that it handled the matter correctly, she said.