The search is over for a mother and her two children who were
feared taken hostage by a man who was reportedly armed.
Police began searching for a four-wheel-drive being driven by
a man with a female passenger - seen to be in a distressed
state - and two young children about 2.20pm.
TVNZ reported that an emergency call was also made by
someone, believed to be an occupant of the vehicle, asking
The search started in Cambridge before an unconfirmed
sighting of the car in Waihi.
The family's vehicle stopped by police in Napier shortly
before 7pm this evening.
Eastern Waikato Area Commander Inspector Dana McDonald said
they were liaising with their Eastern District colleagues but
confirmed all members of the family were safe and well.
"A considerable number of police from across the Waikato, Bay
of Plenty, Northern Communications Centre and now Eastern
District have been involved in the search for the family and
I would just like to acknowledge their efforts."
Earlier today, armed police checked houses in Te Puna.
A police spokesman said this evening that no firearm was
recovered or reported to them.
Mr McDonald acknowledged the members of the public who helped
with the enquiry.