Northland locals are unnerved as two men who shot at a police officer remain on the loose, Far North Mayor John Carter says.
The officer was alone in a patrol car on State Highway 11 when the incident happened early on Tuesday morning.
Police are also investigating links to people who kidnapped a man nearby on the same night and a car being torched.
Carter told Morning Report he was confident police would eventually find the perpetrators.
"There has been good cooperation with the police and we are urging our community to help us in these circumstances to give as much information as they can or they have to the police.
"That's how we're finally going to track them down, it will be public information from or within the community."
He said it was very likely the men were still in Northland.
Police there are now carrying firearms too.
"We absolutely support them in doing so, under these circumstances. It's cause that little more trepidation in the community, and we're urging people to be more alert, be aware and if they see anything at all that looks out of the ordinary please let the police know."
Carter said the incident was a reflection of the social issues - of law and order, employment - in the area that needed to be addressed.
"We have our challenges, we're a good community...lots of opportunities, but we have also to be aware that we have challenges from a social perspective."
He said the new 750,000 cubic metre dam project to be built in a tributary of the Kopenui Stream, northeast of Kaikohe, would also help create more jobs.