A 30-year-old man wanted in relation to a suspicious fire in Waihi overnight was chased several hundred metres and tackled before being taken into police custody this afternoon.

Detective sergeant Martyn Hughes said the man was identified as a person of interest in relation to a 1am fire on The Crescent.

"Volunteer fire brigades from Waihi, Waihi Beach and Athenree fought the fire which was in a block of three units, however despite their efforts the building suffered considerable damage," Mr Hughes said.

"The fire was believed to be suspicious and police and fire service investigators commenced a scene examination this morning.


"As a result of our inquiries a man was identified as a person of interest and that person was seen riding a motor-cross bike on the beach early this afternoon," he said.

A detective who spotted the man waited for him to stop his bike before pursuing, Mr Hughes said.

"The detective came in at the offender from his blindside and ran about 200m in body armour to affect a very effective tackle before the offender could make off.

"As a result a 30-year-old man is being interviewed in relation to the fire and Eastern Waikato police would like to thank the local community for their assistance in bringing this matter to a timely conclusion," he said.