A masked man fired a shot into a security door before holding up a bank in Otaki, north of Wellington, this morning.
Staff were shaken but unhurt in the robbery, believed to be at an ANZ branch, in Main St about 9.30am.
Detective Senior Sergeant Marc Hercock said the man fired a shot into a security door used by tellers before entering the bank.
"Thankfully no one was injured but they are shaken and we would like to locate this person as quickly as possible.''
The man was wearing a blue mask with white teeth on it, black pants, a black jacket with a white or grey stripe above and below the elbow, and orange gloves like those used for dishwashing or gardening.
He was armed with what staff believed to be a firearm but left the bank without taking any money.
Mr Hercock said the man left the bank through the front door.
He then went to the bank carpark at the rear of the building and continued south.
The bank was closed this morning and officers searched the area for the offender.
Police are seeking any information from the public which could help them find the man.