A resident was held at gunpoint in one of two separate early-morning home invasions now being investigated by Canterbury police.
Police said the victim was threatened with a gun while their home in the small northern Canterbury town of Amberley was burgled.
There were also reports of gunshots being heard, but these were so far unconfirmed, police said.
During the incident, the person managed to escape from the property and alert neighbours, who then phoned police at around 3am.
"Police are looking to hear from anyone in the Amberley area who saw anything suspicious around 3am this morning, including any person or vehicle that potentially looked out of place," Amberley Police said in a statement.
Earlier, at 1.30am, four people armed with weapons entered a house at a rural property in Springston, about 25km south of Christchurch.
Police said they held the occupants of the house "for a period of time" before stealing a vehicle and other items.
One of the occupants received minor injuries during the incident, but did not require medical treatment.
One of the captives was able to secretly phone police to come to the rescue in the middle of the night.
As police arrived, the group of offenders fled in different directions.
Two offenders were caught using a police dog after a pursuit came to an end in a dead-end street in Rolleston, while the others were caught in a rural property in Dunsandel.
The four now face a range of charges and are due to appear in Christchurch District Court tomorrow.
Meanwhile, police are appealing for any information relating to the Amberley incident.
Anyone with information can contact the Amberley Police station on (03) 314 8118 or leave an anonymous tip through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.