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A major manhunt is under way in Waikato after police exchanged gunfire and ran for cover after officers were shot at by occupants of a car they were chasing.
Police and the Armed Offenders Squad were searching for the offenders after the incident in rural Morrinsville about midnight on Saturday.
Police had attempted to stop the speeding vehicle on Thames St, Waikato District Commander Bruce Bird said.
The driver failed to stop and a police unit started pursuing the car.
It eventually stopped on Kuranui Rd before one of the occupants got out and shot at officers.
A second police car arrived and officers fired shots in return. Three police staff then took cover in nearby farmland.
The area was cordoned off and Waikato AOS arrived shortly after to escort the officers to safety. They were not hurt.
The police Eagle helicopter was also being used in the area.
A mother who lives on Kuranui Rd said she woke to gunshots being fired outside her home.
The woman told Fairfax that when she rang police, she was told to grab the four children from their beds.
"I was told to stay low and if the kids' bedroom was by the road, we were to go and move them to a room with the least windows. It was practically right outside from us.
"We rung it in, unsure of what was happening, and they said on the phone we needed to lock all doors and stay low.
"Not long after that we had an officer show up on our doorstep letting us know what was happening and what we needed to do."
A reporter at the scene said the windscreen of a police car parked on Kurunui Rd was littered with about 20 bullet holes, while the car alleged to have held the offenders remained in a ditch.
The red, late model Holden had about six bullet holes in the driver's window.