The owner of a Whakatane berry farm has praised the "extremely courageous" actions of a woman who confronted a man alleged to have fired a gun during an attempted robbery.

Julians Berry Farm and Cafe owner Monica Julian, who wasn't on site at the time, said the woman and other customers were "amazing" during and after the incident yesterday.

"I'm just really grateful to the members of the public that were there and helped out, but especially the one that defused the situation," Mrs Julian said.

"As soon as it all happened, a lot of [the customers] came in and tried to reassure people. They were just amazing. People are amazing."


Co-owner Paul Julian said in a Facebook post the woman who intervened was "extremely courageous and probably saved a life".

Two women were injured after being hit by pellets. They were taken to Whakatane Hospital and have both since been discharged.

Mrs Julian said the cafe was open today and all the staff had returned to work.

"They wanted to come in and not let trauma get the better of them. They're amazingly strong women - well kids, really, they're all uni students."

Mrs Julian said staff were laughing about the actions of one young male worker during the incident.

"One of our Czech Republic backpackers tried to jump into the full chest freezer to hide. It was hilarious," she said.

"If you saw this freezer, you'd think 'oh my goodness - it's tiny', and he's a big boy. It was full, but he jumped inside to hide. That's what's making us laugh at the moment - we're all having a good giggle about it."

A 26-year-old Whakatane man was in custody. He was "assisting police with their inquiries", a press release stated.

Police said "several people" were yet to speak with officers but no one else was being sought in connection with the incident.