New Zealand: a country with plenty of quality waves | Photo: Creative Commons

A man, his 14-year-old son, and a 25-year-old friend were greeted by gunshots while surfing near Taharoa, in New Zealand.

The group was sitting out in the lineup waiting for the waves near the entrance of the Kawhia Harbour, north of Albatross Point, when they heard three shots fired.

Initially, they thought someone had fired at a pig or a goat in the surroundings, but then they hear a second shot that was closer and a third one that landed a couple of meters from the teenager.

"It is extremely dangerous and if you put yourself in the 14-year-old boy's shoes, extremely frightening," said Andy Connors, sergeant of the Otorohanga police.

"You'd be fearing the worst and petrified what's going to happen in the next few minutes."

The trio spotted two men in a nearby bank and immediately paddled back to the boat ramp. They believe the aggressors were male individuals.

According to pro surfer Daniel Kereopa, who is familiar with the surf break, the secluded spot is locally known as an invitation-only peak.

"Ever since I have known the place and the people that have cared for it, it's generally been by invitation. We all have rights to areas of our coastline. There are people who really care for their land and keep it as is," Kereopa told Stuff.

The secret spot can only be accessed by boat or jet ski because the wave breaks in an isolated area. This is was not the first time foreign surfers were victims of localism at this place.

"If people ask you to surf down there, and they're from there, then that's the way it is. If you don't get asked, you shouldn't think you deserve to go down there."

The authorities are asking anyone with relevant information about the incident to call Kawhia police.

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