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Police charge man in 10-hour standoff over Terrace Tunnel

A man who yesterday sparked a 10-hour standoff with police on top of Wellington's Terrace Tunnel has been charged.

police outside a
closed terrace tunnel

The Terrace Tunnel in Wellington was closed off all of yesterday afternoon. Photo: RNZ / Meriana Johnsen

He has been charged with dangerous driving causing injury and possession of an offensive weapon.

He was due to appear in Wellington District Court today but police later advised he would be appearing at a later date.

The 31-year-old man was standing on a row of large metal pipes running above the tunnel after it closed due to a two-car crash yesterday afternoon.

Police said he had a knife with him and was struggling with personal issues.

Wellington District Commander Inspector Chris Bensemann said the man's health deteriorated in the sun throughout the afternoon, but he had since perked up and was refusing water.

Mr Bensemann said the man had requested to talk to his partner.

Four double decker buses were parked underneath underneath the man to reduce the drop space.

He came down and was arrested at about 10.30pm after speaking to a family member.

The man sitting on top of the tunnel, with the two-car crash that sparked the incident down below. Photo: RNZ / Meriana Johnsen

Mr Bensemann said more than 20 police staff - including AOS, police negotiators and dog teams - assisted and all possible tactical options were considered.

"In the end this became a matter of patience and communication and we are glad the incident was resolved without further injury," he said.

"I would also like to thank Fire and Emergency NZ, Wellington Free Ambulance, and Metlink for their assistance in hot and tiring conditions throughout the nearly 11-hour incident."

After his arrest, police said he was going to be medically assessed.

Traffic was backed up across the central city over yesterday afternoon. Photo: RNZ / Meriana Johnsen


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