On the back of a serious shootout, Canterbury police are walking the streets on Friday morning armed with guns.
The decision to arm police was made after a dramatic shoot-out between police and a 33-year-old man in Christchurch's Richmond suburb on Tuesday evening.
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District Commander Supt John Price said on Tuesday that the offender in his vehicle had been signalled to stop but failed and fled from police.
"During that pursuit it appears the driver of the car has deliberately driven towards an officer who was laying road spikes.
"Luckily, the officer was not harmed, and the car was spiked."
He then shot at police, leading police to return fire and wounding the man.
Supt Price said the decision to have all frontline Canterbury officers armed until further notice wasn't made lightly.
"When officers are threatened or harmed, or targeted carrying out their duties, it tears at the very fabric of our communities," Supt Price said on Wednesday.
Former National Police Minister Judith Collins said she supported the decision.
"[Supt] John Price would not be putting this in place if he didn't need to... back the police on this, there will be some particular reason why he is doing it," Ms Collins told The AM Show.
The offender had previously had a run in with police on Saturday, when he also shot at them during a pursuit.