Armed police arrested a Carterton man after an incident on Wednesday night involving a high-powered rifle and a near four-hour standoff.

Police said they were called to a Carterton property about 8pm following reports of a man who had fired a shot from a large rifle into the air, and then returned to his house.

They said other occupants of the house left and nearby residents were contacted and alerted by police.

The Wellington police armed offenders squad were deployed, and at about midnight police arrested a 54-year-old man and seized a firearm.

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Witnesses described online the presence of an ambulance and "about eight police with guns (and) apparently a person with a high powered gun".

Another commenter reported as the standoff unfolded that she could "still hear the negotiator still talking", while others urged residents to "just stay safe" and "do not go outside and lock all your doors".

Carterton mechanic Blair Ireland, 54, appeared in Masterton District Court yesterday on six firearms charges and was remanded in custody without plea until Monday, when his lawyer Jock Blathwayt said he would apply for bail.

Ireland is charged with possessing a firearm -- a .44 Magnum rifle without a licence, being drunk in charge of a firearm, and two charges of presenting a firearm to two different people.

Ireland is also charged with discharging a firearm with reckless disregard for safety, and discharging a firearm near a house with the purpose of intimidating a person.

Mr Blathwayt asked for interim name suppression as his client was "between jobs at the moment and publication of his name may affect his future job prospects".

Judge Walsh did not grant the request.