A man is in a serious condition in hospital after being shot by police at Flaxmere Primary School.
Police Eastern District commander Superintendent Tania Kura said the man had been shot in the school grounds off Henderson Rd, Flaxmere.
She said police called to the school with a 2.11pm report that a man had been threatening a staff member were advised that he was carrying a firearm
There was, however, no indication in a statement released soon after 6pm that any firearm had been found.
The school went into lockdown and armed police sent to Flaxmere from both Hastings and Napier.
Kura said the man was located by Police with what appeared to be a firearm and he was shot once.
"The officers immediately administered medical attention and the man was taken by ambulance to hospital where he's reported to be in a serious but stable condition," she said.
The shooting, one of several by police in recent weeks, came just two days before the end of the term and start of the school holidays, and large numbers of anxious parents, grandparents other of family gathered near the school waiting anxiously for the children to appear at the gates once the all-clear was given.
Among them were Hastings District Council Flaxmere members Henare O'Keefe and Peleti Oti, O'Keefe commenting later that while he had been told almost nothing about what had happened it was a "tragic" situation in which police appeared to have "taken" someone down, at a time of great stress with a variety of social and housing issues in the community pre-Christmas.
Kura assured the Independent Police Conduct Authority would be advised, but said: "Police deal with dynamic and fast moving critical situations every day and our absolute priority is safety, in this instance the students' and staff members'. The officers involved are being offered every support."
The lockdown was lifted just before 3.30pm, and teacher Phillippa Watson said it was "scary for the kids, but the kids were amazing".
The school community was first advise via facebook, with late messages via the safety media and ultimately the school intercom helping police communicate to everyone what to do.
"It was really frightening for everyone."
A parent said she heard a gunshot ringing out. "I was here to collect my babies. That could've been my babies," she said.
Witnesses reported Armed Offenders Squad members were at the scene, with Whitby Cres, near the back of the school, cordoned off.
A message to parents on the school's Facebook page about 2.30pm said: "We are on lock down. Please stay out of the school. All our kids are safe. Please stay. We are all hidden and OK.''
A school spokesperson commented on a local community Facebook page about 2.45pm: "We are okay. Staff, kids and parents are all okay but still in lockdown. Going through a process and should be released soon."
At 3.10pm the school wrote that whanau could pick up their kids from the Henderson Road entrance, and assured: "All tamariki and staff are safe and well."
Police at the entrance said kids would be coming out one classroom at a time.