A former police negotiator says it's "amazing" that officers were able to talk to a man for 10 hours and keep him safe in Wellington yesterday.
Cars were lined bumper to bumper in the capital after the 31-year-old man climbed onto a row of large metal crossbars running above the tunnel entrance around midday yesterday.
Police say he had a knife with him and was struggling with personal issues.
The man finally climbed down to safety at 10.30pm after speaking with a family member.
Lance Burdett is a former police negotiator and led talks with Jan Molenaar during the Napier siege in 2009.
Mr Burdett said for the negotiation teams to talk to the 31-year-old for that long and still have a successful outcome was fantastic.
"You get to a window of around two to three hours most occasions and it tends to deteriorate from there, so to keep the person going for such a long time is to their [the officers] credit," he said.
Mr Burdett said typically negotiations with people in a crisis situation was a three stage process.
"You start in the middle, what's going on right now, what are they thinking about... then you go back in history - what happened before then," he said.
"Then you move on much later in the process... [to] how are we going to fix it.
"If you don't do it in that process, the likelihood is that it's not going to be a successful outcome."
The 31-year-old has been charged with dangerous driving causing injury and possession of an offensive weapon.
He is due to appear in the Wellington District Court at a later date.