A man fleeing from police tried to evade capture by swimming along the Welcome Bay estuary in Tauranga, but was unsuccessful.
The man was part of a group reported to police for suspicious activity in a car in the suburb of Maungatapu.
The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody, while three other occupants fled on foot.
A dog unit was called in to track the men, who were in the estuary. One more was subsequently taken into custody.
Another man was located swimming in the water, heading towards the Rotary Park end of the estuary.
All four are now in custody, although a police spokesperson was unable to say whether any charges have been laid.