UPDATE 3.25pm:

A reporter near the Maungatapu roundabout said it appeared police were searching in the area following a nearby crash.

She said a silver sedan appeared to have crashed into a nearby grass bank and a tow truck was now in use.

EARLIER: There is a large police presence in Bayfair and Maungantapu area this afternoon.

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A passerby contacted the Bay of Plenty Times believing a manhunt is underway around Tauranga's Maungatapu roundabout following a nearby car crash on State Highway 29 between Tauranga and Baypark.

The passerby reported seeing large numbers of police and dog units searching the area around the roundabout, including looking down over the urupa (cemetery) towards the construction zone for the Welcome Bay underpass.

He saw a crashed car a short distance past the Maungatapu roundabout on the road to Baypark.

"Cops are swarming all over the area," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.

A Bay of Plenty Times photographer near the Bayfair shopping centre said he saw about seven police cars zooming passed the area about 2.40pm.

Police northern communications spokesman said police in the Bayfair area were looking for a male who was in breach of bail.