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A police spokesperson said a man was arrested without incident in the Weedons/Rolleston area a short time ago.
Police thanked members of the public for their assistance and patience during the search.
"We understand this was a distressing situation while it unfolded but we want assure members of the public there was no imminent threat to their safety."
People living in Broadfield, Prebbleton, Rolleston, Springston, Weedons and West Melton were earlier warned to stay inside while police searched for the alleged offender.
Police contacted some residents by text message telling them to ring 111 if they see anything suspicious.
It said police are trying to locate an armed offender in the area north of Rolleston.
"Please secure your homes and vehicles and ring 111 if you see any suspicious," the message said.
"Please share this message with your neighbours."
The hunt for the armed person was thought to be connected to a high-speed chase through Rolleston earlier this morning.
Police confirmed at 11.28am that they were alerted to a report of a man in a stolen vehicle in Washdyke at just before 7am this morning.
"The man has fled from police when signalled to stop and continued to drive north towards Rakaia where he has stolen another vehicle and driven through to Rolleston where he has crashed that vehicle and fled on foot," said a spokeswoman.
"Police are in the Rolleston area making enquiries to locate the man.
A Rolleston resident said a helicopter can be seen flying over the township.
Another resident confirmed some schools in the area are now in lockdown.
"Just to let you know that we have actioned a lockdown at (a local school) as a precaution as police have advised that they are searching for an armed offender in the Rolleston area," said a message from their child's school that they shared with the Herald.
"We are all safe and will let you know when lockdown is up - please do not come to school."
All early childhood education centres in the area also went into lockdown.
Police have been contacted for comment.
- More to come
- Additional reporting NZ Herald