9 Nov 2015

Charges laid over Catlins lodge incident

7:31 pm on 9 November 2015

Charges have been laid against a 20-year-old man after a stand-off with armed police at a forest lodge in the Catlins.


Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The man and a 15-year-old girl were removed from the Forest and Bird Tautuku Lodge near Papatowai just after 8am, after a 14-hour police operation.

He was due to appear in the Dunedin District Court tomorrow charged with unlawfully possessing and firing a gun, and burglary.

The police's Clutha-Taieri area response manager, Senior Sergeant Alastair Dickie, said officers surrounded the lodge after being phoned by its caretaker, who said the pair had broken in and had a gun.

A large team of 35 officers including two Armed Offenders Squads and a police dog team cordoned it off and shut down the main road, the Chaslands Highway, overnight.

Mr Dickie said the teams approached the lodge at one point but had to retreat and wait until morning after shots were fired at the man's car, and at a tree.

There were some negotiations with the pair, he said, but they came out without much fuss.

The police recovered a shotgun and a .22 calibre rifle from the scene, Mr Dickie said.

"It was a bit of an unknown situation and it got quite confusing because we had different information on who it might have been, so we had to treat it fairly carefully."

The police had called the AOS to make sure the incident was handled in a controlled way, he said.