Parents in a West Auckland suburb are being advised to talk to their children after reports of a suspicious approach to a child on Monday afternoon.

A primary school-aged girl was approached by a man in a car on Cyril Crescent in West Harbour, police said. The incident happened between 3.15pm and 3.19pm.

The child ran off and alerted her family, who then called police, the spokesman said.

Vicki Hitchcock, principal of West Harbour School, confirmed a pupil was approached on their way home from school.

"I was informed about the incident by a call from the police late Monday afternoon at school," she said.

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"I have spoken with the family. The student concerned is doing well. She was very brave and acted with a clear head."

A post on the school's Facebook page said the student handled the situation well and ran off when approached.

"Please talk to your 'babies' and we will be doing the same thing tomorrow," the post read.

Police inquiries into the incident are continuing.