Police release further details of armed man being hunted in Hilltop, Taupō

A vehicle and a weapon belonging to a man on the run in Taupō have been located by police, but officers remain concerned he is still armed.

Taupō Area Commander Inspector Phil Edwards is pleading with the man to hand himself in telling him not to "make it harder than it needs to be".

In an updated statement on Friday, police revealed they received reports of an altercation in the Hilltop between a man and woman both armed with knives at around 1:40pm yesterday.

Five schools and a kindergarten were placed into lockdown while armed police hunted for the man.  

Patrolling police officers also instructed residents to stay inside. 

The wanted man's car was found a short time later with a firearm inside, but police believe he has another firearm. 

"This man knows who he is, and so do we. Come forward sooner rather than later, there is no need to make it harder than it needs to be," Insp Edwards said.   

"We are taking this seriously and realise how unsettling this has been particularly for the younger members of our community whose schools went into lockdown". 

"We have been asked if our kids are safe to go to school today - the answer to that is yes." 

He said officers will be visiting schools to "provide reassurance" and thank children for their bravery and listening to instructions. 

Police will be visible in the Hilltop area today while they speak with friends, family and associates of the man. 

"If you refuse to come to us, we will find you. It is our priority to take this man into custody, and associates can expect us to be knocking on doors and executing search warrants." 

Anyone with information on the man's whereabouts is urged to contact police and reference event number P057866209.