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Siege continues after officers shot

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 8/03/2016

Onepu Springs road cordon 5pm Onepu Springs road cordon at 5pm. © Louis Klaassen Onepu Springs road cordon 5pm Onepu Springs road cordon at 5pm. A woman at the scene of a police stand-off with a gunman near Kawerau says police are preventing his family from talking him out.

Four officers were shot at the rural property following a cannabis operation yesterday.

Two of the injured officers have been discharged from hospital but one was seriously injured and remained in Waikato Hospital. The fourth, who was shot in the hand, was expected to undergo further treatment at the same hospital today.

The police said yesterday the person who shot and wounded the officers was acting alone and still inside the property at the centre of the siege.

A group of people thought to be family members of the gunman have gathered beneath a stand of pine trees at the turn-off to Onepu Springs Road.

A woman at the cordon around the scene, who said she was the gunman's mother, said she believed the family could defuse the situation but the police would not let them.

Armed police man a roadblock outside a property in Kawerau, Rotorua. © Phil Walter/Getty Images Armed police man a roadblock outside a property in Kawerau, Rotorua. A large number of police, some of whom were armed, were at the cordon and a helicopter was hovering overhead.

In the early hours of this morning, a police officer told media at the cordon there was a drone in the no-fly zone in the area above the gunman's house.

A woman who was in lockdown with her parents and her son on Hogg Road, which is inside the police cordon, said she heard gunshots yesterday afternoon.

"I have heard shotguns going off but I'm not certain where they were going and I have seen four helicopters fly in and out of the road since about half past three this afternoon.

"I'm hoping I am, but I'm kind of praying at the same time that it's going to end soon and everyone's going to be fine."

Four policemen have been shot after an incident on Onepu Springs Road, following what was believed to be a drug search, Kawerau © SNPA / Cameron Avery Four policemen have been shot after an incident on Onepu Springs Road, following what was believed to be a drug search, Kawerau She said she was keeping an eye on her neighbours.

"We're pretty safe and secure. We're like a farming community, we've always got each other's backs and every now and then you hear the odd gun fire but that would be either going for a rabbit or a possum; nothing out of the ordinary. But for some weird reason this is out of the ordinary," she said.

Police have called in a Defence Force NH-90 tactical helicopter and three Light Armoured Vehicles to assist with the operation.

A Kawerau resident, who did not want to be named, said there had been a heavy police presence in the area since midday yesterday. He had seen at least 10 police patrol cars, two ambulances on standby and up to 15 armed police officers.

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Watch the police news conference here:

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