It is understood police were visiting a property with a search warrant when they were confronted with "a firearms incident".
The surrounding streets were cordoned off to the public as detectives, and members of the Armed Offenders Squad dealt with the situation.
A police spokeswoman said the cordons had been put in place as a precaution. She said the operation, which lasted about three hours, was a "pre-planned search warrant".
Police and an ambulance in Dickson Rd. Photo/Andrew Warner
It was not known whether anyone was injured in the operation, but an Allan Pl resident, who would not be named, said she saw a man in an ambulance outside the home at the centre of the callout.
The resident said she had returned home from work earlier in the afternoon and could not get home due to the police cordon. She was eventually let through about 1.50pm.
Earlier another unnamed resident of Allan Place waiting at the cordon said was worried she and her husband, who has just had surgery, couldn't get home.
"He's had a lesion removed, and he's a bleeder, so the doctor said to get home where it's quiet and to take it easy for the next two weeks."
The woman said she would take him to the library instead.
An armed officer at a cordon on the corner of Domain and Dickson roads in Papamoa. Photo/Andrew Warner
Another woman expressed heated concern to police guarding the Domain Rd end of Dickson St that she was unable to get her groceries into her fridge in time.
She and worried mums with children in daycare were among the streams of traffic trying to get through.
A Percy Rd resident who would not be named said he was shocked to see armed police in his neighbourhood.
"I'm 60 years old, and I've only ever seen armed police in New Zealand once, maybe twice, before.
"I was just walking to the dairy."
A police cordon at the intersection of Domain Rd and Dickson St. Photo/Kiri Gillespie
Some residents living further away from the scene were being let in, and New Zealand Post could still be seen delivering mail in Dickson Rd.
A police spokeswoman earlier confirmed there was a police operation in the area but said she could not provide any more information.