Opoutere School near Whangamata is in lockdown while the Armed Offenders Squad search for a wanted man.

Coastal News reporter Lesley Staniland said police searched for Patrick Dixon, who shot at Police in Manurewa early yesterday morning.

The police have said Dixon was known to visit the area.

The children were being kept inside for their own safety but were in no danger a police spokesman said.

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He said they were being well looked after.

A school spokesperson said the children were all happy and many were unaware of events happening outside.