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Armed police swooped on the Mangere home of William Morris' mother yesterday but found no sign of the wanted man.

The 33-year-old, who has a full facial moko, has avoided capture since last Wednesday, when he threatened people with a shotgun in West Auckland and later discharged a gun at an Avondale address.

It is understood Morris has been looking for his former partner, who is in hiding with their children.

Police say Morris uses methamphetamine, is highly dangerous and should not be approached.

Members of the armed offenders squad have been deployed to addresses in West Auckland, Northland and South Auckland following tip-offs about Morris over the past week.

He is wanted for alleged offences that involve firearms and include kidnapping, threatening to kill, vehicle theft, intimidation and serious assaults.

Police carrying rifles yesterday surrounded his mother's house in Chingford Ave, Mangere.

The street was closed off at 12.30pm and residents who remained inside the cordon were told to stay indoors.

Contractors working in an empty house next door to the Morris address were taken away in a police car.

A plumber who was working at the address said: "We were working and a whole lot of guns turned up."

Residents waited at the edge of a police cordon for a dramatic show-down that never came.

"It's like an army base," said one resident, referring to the 4WDs driving down the street with black-clad Armed Offenders Squad members hanging off the side and back.

Morris' mother was taken away by relatives while police searched her home and the vacant house where the contractors had been working. The Morris family did not want to comment.