Farmers in the Waikato region are being urged to keep cool heads following a spate of thefts of expensive farm equipment.
Ohaupo farmer Arnold Reekers made headlines when - dressed only in underwear and gumboots - he chased thieves who were trying to steal a quad bike in the middle of the night.
Other farmers are also fed up with thefts and Mr Reekers has said it could force farmers to take up arms.
The provincial Federated Farmers president, Chris Lewis, said farmers should always call the police first and he would discourage farmers from taking matters into their own hands.
But he said the situation had the potential to escalate to a serious confrontation.
"It certainly could, and I'm sure most thieves if they've got half a brain they'll take that into consideration too, but you'd only use your firearm to defend yourself and for the law that would be accepted.
"But for anything else you'd have to think very smartly about your actions."