Armed police have been spotted near Pahoia School this afternoon.

A police spokesman said police were carrying out an operation in the Waipapa Block Rd area.

"The operation has nothing to do with the school," he said.

A resident told the Bay of Plenty Times there were about nine police cars at the school.

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"We have been told to stay clear and stay inside and no one knows what's going on but there is a significant police presence."

The resident said the police were not telling locals what was happening.

"All we know is they are restricting access and stay clear of the area and if you're home, stay inside while operations are going on."

More information to come.