Police are diverting traffic in the central Hawke's Bay tonight.

Just before 10pm, authorities said traffic on State Highway 2, in Otane, would be diverted due to a "police operation.''

Exactly what that operation is would not be revealed by a spokeswoman, when asked by the Herald.

A police statement said motorists heading north, through Otane, should turn off Argyll St.

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Motorists heading south would have to use College Road instead.

"The co-operation of motorists is appreciated,'' police said.

A spokeswoman for the Fire Service referred all enquiries to police.

A staff member at a BP said he was on his way to work tonight and saw police.

Another nearby resident said they too had been blocked off by police officers in the area.

"The roads are all shut off - we don't know why,'' she said.