Gunshots heard in Foxton last night could be potentially gang-related and may have left a man wounded, police say.

The shots were heard in the small Manawatu town around 7.30pm Saturday.

"Based on our inquiries to date, we believe the incident may have been gang-related. We have a number of people to speak with before we can get a clearer picture of what has happened," said Detective Sergeant Dave Wishnowsky.

About 4.30am today police found a man suffering from what appeared to be a gunshot wound after using road spikes to stop the ute he was travelling in because it was suspected of displaying false registration plates.

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Three men from the ute were arrested and are being held in custody while the vehicle is examined.

"One of the occupants were treated by ambulance for a suspected gunshot wound to one of his legs," police said.

No charges have been laid, but police will continue investigating whether the gunshots heard last night were linked to the ute stopped in Levin and conduct a scene examination of the site of the reported shooting.

"We are aware that news of these events could be unsettling for the community," Wishnowsky said.

"Cordons will remain in place until investigators complete their examination. We will attempt to keep disruption to a minimum during the time we are present."

Police welcome any information the public might have about these incidents.

Information can be given to Palmerston North Police on 06 351 3600 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.