Auckland tavern staff were held at gunpoint and forced to empty the bar tills and safe in a violent robbery yesterday.

Two men forced the sole staff member of the Kaipara Tavern in Helensville to open and empty the cash register and safe around 11.30am yesterday, police said.

The two men then fled the scene on Commercial Rd in a stolen silver Subaru station wagon. The vehicle was found a short time later, abandoned on Rimmer Rd.

CCTV footage of the robbery shows both men's faces "clearly visible", Detective Senior Sergeant Andy Murdoch of Waitemata Police said, meaning someone will know who they are.

"This was a really terrifying experience for the staff attendant, and he has been completely traumatised by what has happened," he said.

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"It is only a matter of time before police identify both offenders, so we are asking them to do the right thing and to hand themselves in."

Murdoch added: "Police across Auckland are focused on preventing aggravated robberies, and to catching those who think it's okay to go into somebody's place of business, threaten, and at times assault staff members and take off with items such as cash and cigarettes.

"The impact that these crimes have on victims are really serious and it has to stop."

Murdoch asked friends and families of the robbers to call police if they recognise their faces on the CCTV footage.

"Police enquiries are continuing today, we are still in the process of reviewing CCTV footage and a forensic examination is underway of the recovered stolen vehicle," he said.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to contact North Shore CIB on 09 477 5261 or anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.