A naked man who approached teenage girls and then began to masturbate in front of them has prompted a warning from police.

The man was spotted on Papamoa Beach on Monday and reported to police yesterday.

Senior Sergeant Deirdre O'Donnell told the Bay of Plenty Times a man was seen naked on the beach and masturbating.

Officers were making inquiries into the matter and additional patrols would be active in the area, she said.

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"This is believed to be an isolated incident," she said.

"Should members of the public witness behaviour they believe to be inappropriate they are encouraged to report it to police immediately."

The incident has garnered shock and outage after it was posted in a community Facebook page yesterday.

The area where the incident happened is locally known as an area popular with nudists.