Armed police descended on a Napier property yesterday but left empty-handed with no arrests made.

Police said they were carrying out a planned search warrant at a home in Kenny Ave, Ahuriri, relating to a wanted individual.

The house was believed to be gang-affiliated and the armed offenders squad was called in as a precaution.

A nearby resident woke to the sound of what he thought was a metal saw.

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"I heard it shortly after 9am and I am guessing they were using it to cut back the gate bolt."

The man went down his driveway to investigate and saw police cars and police standing around with firearms, but he didn't think much was happening.

He returned to his house and because he had a high fence was only able to hear what was going on throughout the remainder of the search.

"I could hear police on the megaphone saying things like 'come out with your hands up and you won't be harmed' but it sounded very one sided.

"I did wonder if anyone was at home."

He said for the next couple of hours there was a lot of shouting and he heard what he thought had been explosions with police trying to break the locks off doors.

"It sounded like the explosions were definitely inside the house not outside."

Despite the ongoing noises outside his home the man said he didn't feel threatened.

A woman who also lived down the road wasn't able to return to her property at noon and ended up waiting at Save Mart until 1.30pm.

"It was a long time but police came and got me and took me back to my home when they had finished."

Another witness told Hawke's Bay Today she saw police on ladders over the house's high fences, pointing guns into the yard.

Others reported hearing shots, but police said no gun shots had been fired by the armed offenders squad.