Residents from two Marine Parade apartments were evacuated from their homes for several hours last night after a major gas leak.
A woman in one of the evacuated apartment blocks said she called Tauranga City Council about 5pm after smelling what she thought at first was a sewerage leak.
"I thought it was sewage pouring up onto our driveway but then I smelt a strong waft of gas and it just got stronger and realised there was a major gas leak and we needed to leave."
Tauranga Fire Brigade senior station officer Len Sabin said the cause of the gas leak from a pipe under the driveway of one the apartments was being investigated last night.
Police cordons were in place at both ends of Marine Parade between Banks Ave and Pacific Ave while a contractor tackled the problem, he said.
Mr Sabin said residents were expected to be able to return to their homes last night, once the evacuated buildings were checked.