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Man at centre of stand-off surrenders

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/06/2016

The man at the centre of a major police stand-off in Palmerston North has given himself up.

Caleb Kovaleski, 25, had been holed up in the suburb of Cloverlea since Thursday after fleeing from police.

But just before 4.30pm on Friday, he surrendered himself to police officers and was arrested and taken into custody, Inspector Sarah Stewart said.

There were no injuries or further incidents.

"It's the best possible outcome ... everyone was able to go home safely and well," Insp Stewart told reporters.

It's been confirmed a firearm was found at the property where Kovaleski was hiding, but Insp Stewart wouldn't go into any further details about the gun or what had happened.

Kovaleski will face a firearms-related charge, but when asked about further charges, Insp Stewart said the investigation was still in its very early stages.

About four houses remain cordoned off while police carry out a scene examination and it's likely those still unable to return home will be able to do so on Saturday afternoon.

However, the rest of the cordons, that had been in place since Thursday afternoon, have been lifted.

Armed police had been stationed at the cordons for much of Friday and a helicopter had been circling overhead.

The local school and kindergarten, both located inside the cordon, remained closed on Friday after they were put into lockdown on Thursday.

Insp Stewart acknowledged the patience, assistance and support of the local community who she said had rallied together to support each other and the police.

A community welfare station was set up at the Cloverlea Tavern to provide locals unable to get home with food and other assistance, while those stuck inside the cordon were told to remain vigilant and lock their windows and doors.

Earlier on Friday, Kovaleski's adoptive father Jim Antcliff had urged his son to end the stand-off peacefully.

"I love you son, we all love you ... please come out peacefully this time," he said in an interview with Maori Television.

Mr Antcliff had been speaking with his son, who he described as a "cheeky character" and not a criminal.

"He's a good lad [and] things went out of control yesterday and ended up like this." Kovaleski was wanted for arrest on a number of driving and dishonesty charges, police said.

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