Police have arrested and charged a man following an incident at the Manukau City shopping centre this morning, a Police media release said.
Police were notified around 8.50am of an incident where a man had allegedly taken a woman hostage at knifepoint inside the food court area.
Police responded immediately and were at the scene within minutes. They established a cordon around the immediate area and the entire complex was closed, with members of the public being evacuated outside.
The first officer who arrived at the scene immediately began negotiations with the alleged offender.
The victim was unknown to the man who continued to hold her hostage at knifepoint.
Police staff negotiated with the offender for approximately 40 minutes before he dropped his knife on the ground and released the victim.
The offender was immediately apprehended and taken into custody without further incident.
The Armed Offenders Squad and the Police Negotiation Team were called to assist as a precaution, however, by this time the incident was already resolved.
A 30-year-old man has been charged with kidnapping and is due to appear in the Manukau District Court tomorrow.
Inspector Adam Pyne, Area Commander for Counties Manukau Central, says this was a frightening incident which was extremely distressing for the victim.
“The victim in this matter is understandably shaken but fortunately was not harmed by the alleged offender.
“I want to acknowledge the bravery of the victim in this incident, who remained calm in a stressful and traumatic situation and we are providing her with all the support we can."
He also acknowledged the actions of the Police staff involved in this incident for successfully defused a volatile situation without anyone being harmed.
“We would also like to recognise the actions of mall security staff who managed to quickly evacuate members of the public from the area,” Inspector Pyne further added.