Police are still hunting a dangerous man in Southland.
24-year-old Hōri Gemmell is on the run after it's alleged he rammed two patrol cars before getting away on foot with two police pistols in Gore overnight.
He then reportedly stole another patrol vehicle with the keys left in it, before abandoning it soon after.
Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham says they've called in reinforcements.
"We will shortly have out of town national staff arriving in Southland to provide additional support to the investigation and the search for Mr Gemmell, and indeed those two firearms."
Deputy Police Commissioner John Tims told Heather du Plessis-Allan it was a fast-moving situation but officers needed to take keys out of the ignition.
"It's just not good enough. We're ding a whole lot of work around audits and making sure we've got our firearms secure."
He says the situation shouldn't have happened.
"For us at the moment, the priority is around locating the offender and recovering those firearms."