The Police Association is renewing its call for officers to be routinely armed while an investigation continues to find the men who shot at a policewoman south of Kerikeri on Monday.
The shooting occurred just after 4am on Puketona Rd, between the quarry and Puketona Junction, when a car pulled out of a farm driveway and stopped in the middle of the road as a police car was approaching.
Two men got out of the car and pointed guns at the officer with one of them firing at her from close range before she could take evasive action.
The windscreen was sprayed with shot from the blast and likely saved the officer's life.
She retreated and called for backup.
It is understood the highly experienced officer was on her own at the time.
The shooting sparked a major police operation with Puketona Rd closed until 8am and a search of farmland and houses on Matauri Bay Rd by members of the armed offenders squad later that morning. The search for the gunmen continued today.
Police Association vice-president Mike McRandle told RNZ the incident would have a far-reaching impact within police and was a reminder of the huge number of firearms in criminal hands.
He also renewed the association's long-standing call to routinely arm New Zealand police.
McRandle said an increasing proportion of members, 66 per cent in last year's survey, supported arming police.
Surveys had also shown more support among the public for armed police, with 55 per cent in favour in 2017 rising to 61 per cent in 2019.
He said the wider police family was doing its best to help look after the officer, who is understood to have been temporarily taken off duty.
''I was really thankful nobody was hurt, that is our biggest concern at the moment. That June tragedy [in which a young Auckland policeman was killed] is still really live and very clear in our minds,'' McRandle said.
''However, we've had increasing incidents like this in the last while and it is really concerning to our members the serious criminal element in our society is prepared to use firearms against police.''
McRandle couldn't say if having a gun would have helped in the Puketona Rd incident because that was ''an operational matter''.
''The problem you've got is when you're confronted with a person with a firearm and they're prepared to use it, you've got to take something pretty quick to make a good decision to keep yourself safe. That's the ongoing issue that some of our members are starting to face more regularly.''
Police are also continuing to investigate a kidnapping thought to have been carried out by the same men a short time after the officer was shot at.
The man was abducted from Waipapa and dumped at Matauri Bay, where he managed to make his way across farmland and bush to raise the alarm at a farmhouse about 8am.
A Nissan Skyline thought to have been used in both incidents was set alight on Puketotara Rd, between Kerikeri and Ōkaihau, about 4.50am.
Police are also investigating two ram-raids which occurred in the Mid North earlier the same night, though they were not currently thought to be linked to the shooting or kidnapping.
A police spokeswoman said a vehicle was used to smash through the door of a grocery store on Williams Rd in Paihia shortly after 2am.
The offenders stole a number of items then fled. Shortly afterwards a second ram-raid was carried out at a dairy in Moerewa.
■ Call police on 105 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with any information about these crimes.