Three arrests made at roadblock near Waiouru ‘without incident’, police say.

A man has appealed to the public to pronounce the name of arrested fugitive Dolphy Kohu correctly.

He made his comments at the Whanganui District Court this morning, asking people to stop "bastardising" the family name Kohu and that it should be pronounced "Core-who."

As he left the court he said he would he would get his lawyers onto people who continued mispronouncing the name.

He urged those reporting the case to learn Te Reo, as mispronunciation of surnames could be insulting to families.

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Kohu is expected to appear in the court later today on charges of using a firearm against a law enforcement officer and two charges of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, as well as an attempted murder charge.

Five other people have also been charged with various offences and are also due to appear in court.

After a 19-hour search, Kohu was detained with a man and a woman at a roadblock at the junction of State Highways 1 and 49 near Waiouru about 9.20pm last night.

This morning his family expressed their relief that the manhunt ended peacefully.

"I'm so relieved you're alright," his sister posted on Facebook.

"Couldn't have asked for a better outcome just knowing you're safe makes me so thankful!"

Kohu's sister said she was always proud to be his sister and she loved him.

Police have today confirmed one firearm was found in the vehicle.

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This morning police released a list of what has been laid:

• A 23-year-old man: 1x Attempted Murder, 1x Using a firearm against a law enforcement officer, 2x Unlawful taking of a motor vehicle
• A 22-year-old woman: 1x Party to using a firearm against a law enforcement officer, 2x Unlawfully gets into a motor vehicle
• A 17-year-old man: 1x Party to using a firearm against a law enforcement officer, 1x Unlawfully gets into a motor vehicle
• A 17-year-old man: 1x Party to using a firearm against a law enforcement officer, 1x Unlawfully gets into a motor vehicle.
• A 39-year-old woman: 1x Party to using a firearm against a law enforcement officer, 1x Unlawfully gets into a motor vehicle
• A 28-year-old man: 1x Accessory after the fact

Police say more charges could be laid.

Police are also still looking for an associate of the six facing charges. They are not considered dangerous.

Last night's arrests happened "without incident". The three people were to be taken to Ohakune police station for questioning and then on to Whanganui.

Armed police search a property in Ohakune. Photo / Alan Gibson
Armed police search a property in Ohakune. Photo / Alan Gibson

Late last night police were still ascertaining if some of those detained yesterday had become caught up in the drama after the shooting rather than being present at the incident itself.

Central District police commander Superintendent Sue Schwalger said last night the arrests would come as a great relief for communities in the central North Island.

"These arrests come after some great work from police staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the day to locate Mr Kohu.

"I'm pleased that there was no further violence involved against police staff and that our communities will have the security of knowing Mr Kohu has been apprehended tonight.

"I would like to thank all the police staff who have been involved in today's operation, and all members of the public who have provided information or assisted us in resolving this matter so quickly.

"The operation is not concluded yet and there is still a considerable amount of work to be done to piece together the events of the last 24 hours and establish exactly what Mr Kohu and his associates have been doing in this time."

The stolen and abandon police car near Ohakune. Photo / Belinda Feek, NZ Herald
The stolen and abandon police car near Ohakune. Photo / Belinda Feek, NZ Herald

The group allegedly went on the run from police near Whanganui about 2.30am Wednesday morning and later allegedly rammed a patrol car near Raetihi, shooting at the two officers inside and then stealing the car, leaving the crashed red Mazda 626 station wagon they had been in.

The police car was found mid-morning on the outskirts of Ohakune. It's understood an associate had picked up the group.

A female relative of Kohu's living in the Ruapehu region received a call from a blocked number about 3.30pm saying, "We need help, they are going to shoot me," she was told, according to a male relative who spoke to the Herald anonymously.

Annabel Dekker opened the door for two 'on edge' policemen about 3:40am and thought they were there to deliver her some bad news.

She was too scared to act on it or allow him to take her phone to the police. The information was later passed to the authorities.

The relative said there were about 200 of Kohu's whanau in the region, and they were worried and upset by what had been going on.

"They are good kids. They have just made bad decisions. Everyone has the bad and good; it happens in all families. Yes [Kohu] has a troubled past but at the end of the day when you get him on his own he's a damn good kid."

Armed offenders search for armed fugitives on the run in the Central North Island. Photo / Stuart Munro, Wanganui Chronicle
Armed offenders search for armed fugitives on the run in the Central North Island. Photo / Stuart Munro, Wanganui Chronicle

The family had been upset people could not go to work as the town was locked down, and many had had to endure police visits to their homes.

One woman was arrested earlier in the day at an Ohakune address while a man and a woman were assisting police with inquiries.

Large parts of the Central Plateau were in lockdown and schools around Ohakune, Waiouru and Raetihi were closed as officers hunted the group, with the assistance of the Eagle helicopter and armed offenders squad.

Police had executed six search warrants - in Rotorua, Whakatane, Taihape and Whanganui - in the past six weeks in an attempt to find Kohu.

Ms Schwalger said the officers who were shot at were shaken but otherwise unhurt.

Jenny Dekker said they took cover in her home on Alexandra Rd, Raetihi, about 3.40am. "They were very stressed and bleeding and said, 'Sorry to bother you but we've just been shot at. Do you mind if we use your phone?'"

Police hunting for the armed offenders in the central North Island. Photo / Robert Milne, Ruapehu Bulletin
Police hunting for the armed offenders in the central North Island. Photo / Robert Milne, Ruapehu Bulletin

Her daughter Dr Annabel Dekker, a physician at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital who was visiting, had been woken by the officers' frantic knocking and answered the door.

She said the under-fire policemen "made their way to the one house that had lights on ... I thought they'd come to bear some bad news ... inform me of the death of someone on the roads or something like that. But no, they were obviously shaken about what they'd experienced for themselves."

The officers used the landline to speak with colleagues for about 20 minutes before going to retrieve the police car.

Maori Wardens spent the day checking on elderly residents and local schools. One, Justin Bishop, said the community was on edge.