Cromwell residents are being warned to lock their cars and remain inside as police search for a teenager believed to be armed.
Senior Sergeant Janelle Timmins said police were responding to an incident in the Lowburn area of Central Otago.
Timmins said police were searching for a European male in his late teens.
She said police believed he had a gun and warned people not to approach him.
"While police do not believe he poses a direct risk to members of the public, as a precaution we advise local residents to secure their vehicles and remain inside their properties until otherwise notified."
Police were also interested in any sightings of a white Nissan Navara ute - registration KDA680.
Earlier today police said they were in pursuit of a car in Central Otago following what was believed to be a domestic incident.
A spokeswoman said officers were in the process of locating an offender at Mt Pisa, near Cromwell.
Road spikes had been deployed.
It appeared the car's occupant was involved in a domestic incident and had fled the scene, police said.
Photographer James Allan was at the cordon on Lowburn Valley Rd and said residents were frustrated they were not able to get back to their homes.
He said power was also out in the area.
Allan said police had visited a house owned by the offender's father, who lives in the area, and taken the father away.
Police told him they had seen the offender but not yet approached him.
There were dozens of police from all around the area as well as an ambulance on stand-by, Allan said.
All roads into the Lowburn Valley area had been closed for about four hours and there was no indication of when they would reopen, he said.