Northland police were last night still looking for a Mid North man who sparked a major manhunt in scrub and farmland yesterday.
The drama began when police spotted a car linked to a wanted man, sparking a pursuit on rural roads between Kaikohe and Moerewa about 11.30am.
Armed police sealed off the area and deployed road spikes at key locations around Pokapu Rd, off Ōtiria Rd, while an officer followed a hunch and fresh tyre tracks up a rough farm track off Davis Rd.
He found the ute police were searching for and two men who then ran off into the bush.
An officer tried to follow with a tracking dog while members of the Whangārei-based Armed Offenders Squad flew up on the Eagle helicopter.
The helicopter could be seen circling over Davis Rd for much of the afternoon.
The area is a mix of dense scrub and farmland, cut through by a large stream and the mothballed northern railway line.
Roadblocks were lifted just after 3.30pm when there was still no sign of the men.
Acting Senior Sergeant Pat Waters, of Northland police, said inquiries to find them were continuing.
The incident began when an officer spotted a vehicle linked to a man with warrants for his arrest.
The police Eagle helicopter and the AOS had been deployed as a precaution, he said.
Traffic initially unable to get through Pokapu Rd included a school van bringing Motatau School children home to Moerewa. A kohanga reo at Matawaia was also affected.
It is the second time in a week Motatau School has been affected by a fleeing offender.
About 4.25pm last Thursday a man with multiple arrest warrants was trying to get away from police when he crashed head-on into a Motatau School bus then fled on foot into scrub. He was caught a short distance from the crash scene by a police dog.
There were no children on the bus at the time but the driver was badly shaken.