17 Aug 2017

Police now seeking fugitive's ex-partner

4:33 pm on 17 August 2017

Police are now searching for the former partner of fugitive Rollie Heke and believe she is assisting him to evade capture.

Mr Heke, 36, traded shots with police after a car he was in was pulled over on the outskirts of Morrinsville on Sunday morning.

Rollie James Heke

Rollie James Heke Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

A four-hour siege of a house in the town failed to find any trace of him on Monday.

Yesterday, police said they have expanded the search for him to the entire country, and he is no longer thought to be in the Morrinsville area. They said he has criminal connections across the country.

They now say his ex-partner, 43-year-old Irene Scanlon, is believed to be helping him evade police.

She is of medium build, has dyed blonde hair and a swastika tattoo on her left thumb.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

The gunman has been at large for almost a year after cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet in September.

Father's plea: 'Don't go out in a blaze of glory'

Mr Heke's father has asked him to "do the right thing".

Irene Scanlon, who police believe is assisting her former partner Rollie Heke to escape capture.

Irene Scanlon, who police believe is assisting her former partner Rollie Heke to escape capture. Photo: Supplied / New Zealand Police

A statement provided to RNZ by a family member is addressed to Mr Heke, telling him, "Don't go out in a blaze of glory".

The statement, written by Mr Heke's father, said: "No one has been hurt, it's not that bad yet. You have time to do the right thing."

He encouraged his son to contact whānau.

"You have a big whānau out here that cares for you. You are well loved by all of us".

Mr Heke's father wrote he "hopes for a good outcome".