Schools locked down amid large police presence

Several schools in Taupō have been placed in lockdown while police deal with an incident in the suburb of Hilltop.

Tauhara College, Tauhara Primary School and Lake Taupō Christian School advised parents via their Facebook pages, just after 2.30pm, not to come to school to pick up children.

Police have yet to confirm the nature of the incident.

“Tauhara College has gone into lockdown. The police have asked the school be put into lockdown because of an incident in the area," the college said in a Facebook post.

"We will continue to provide updates on our Facebook as often as possible. Please do not come to the school or phone the school as you will not be attended to and this may cause disruption to the management of this incident and could potentially place yourselves and/or our staff and student’s safety at risk. All further updates will be provided on our Facebook,” the post said.

A parent, waiting for her son at Tauhara Primary School said there had been a helicopter circling the area and lots of police cars.

She said armed police officers had stopped a vehicle on Crown Rd near Tauhara Primary School and appeared to be detaining someone in the middle of the road.

Tauhara Primary School and Tauhara College posted near identical messages on Facebook this afternoon.

A police spokesperson said they were asking members of the public to avoid the Hilltop area as they “respond to an incident”.

“Cordons are in place on multiple streets in the area, and schools have been placed into lockdown as a precaution,” the spokesperson said at 3.30pm.

“More information will be released when we are in a position to do so.”

A message on the Lake Taupō Christian School Facebook page told parents not to be alarmed.

“Do not be alarmed, we are all safe. We are under police guidance and ask parents not to come to school until we are given the all-clear. We will give any updates and the all-clear via our school app. Please download the Skool Loop app and select Lake Taupo Christian School.”