Police have begun a homicide investigation after the discovery of a man's body in Ōtara tonight.

A church in Ōtara is the centre of intense police activity.

Police swarmed on the scene shortly before 7pm and confirmed to the Herald they were responding to a "serious incident" in Ōtara Rd, South Auckland.

Detective Senior Sergeant Warrick Adkin said police had launched a homicide inquiry after a death in Ōtara.

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"Police were called to the scene on Ōtara Rd at 6.50pm and found the body of a man.

"We are working to understand the full circumstances of the death.

"One person is assisting police with inquiries."

Police at the scene in Ōtara. Photo / Luke Kirkness
Police at the scene in Ōtara. Photo / Luke Kirkness

A reporter at the scene said a man in a white boiler suit has been seen entering a church building. It is understood members of Victim Support have also arrived.

There is a strong police presence outside a property on Ōtara Rd and the road is cordoned off.

The section of road near St John the Evangelist Catholic Parish on Ōtara Rd has been closed off.

A middle-aged woman was escorted out of the cordoned area and driven away in a police patrol car.

A worker at a petrol station opposite the street said police officers could be seen.

"We can see the police lights and they've blocked off the road," the staffer said.

The residential street is behind the Manukau Institute of Technology.

A worker helping police cordon the street told the Herald he had heard the incident was a homicide.

A resident on the street told a reporter the same thing.

A group nearby said they aren't sure what is happening. They arrived not long ago and police were already on the scene.

Police at the scene. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Police at the scene. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Eight police cars and around a dozen officers are on the scene.

An ambulance and another St John vehicle are also on the scene.

There is a strong police presence outside a property on Ōtara Rd. Photo / via Google Maps
There is a strong police presence outside a property on Ōtara Rd. Photo / via Google Maps