A woman is in police custody after the body of a man - believed to be her husband - was found in a west Auckland house last night.

It is believed the man, a father of two adult children, had been shot dead.

Police were called to the Longview Rise, Massey, home about 7.20pm and found the body. Another person, the woman, was waiting for police. No one else is being sought.

Residents of the street were only alerted when police started knocking on doors about an hour later, asking if they had heard anything.

A woman who lives directly opposite the house told police she had neither heard nor seen anything. She asked if the inquiries were related to the disappearance of Aisling Symes, but the officer replied: "no, no, no - we're still looking for her".

The woman said the couple were friendly. She believed the husband once worked in the building industry but was now semi-retired. "My husband talks to him every day." The neighbour's husband said the couple seemed close. He said he had not seen the man since Thursday last week but regularly had a drink with him after work.

Both he and the man were keen fishermen and would exchange their catch snapper and trout between them.

"He was a good man, he looked after the street. They seemed like a really happy couple; they made us welcome when we first moved in."

In a statement late last night, Inspector Cornell Kluessien described the matter as a "family violence incident".

The street was cordoned off for several hours. Three police cars, including two unmarked cars, were at the scene. Police tape surrounded the property, while officers carted boxes in and out.

One resident reported seeing a woman taken away while another understood at least one shot had been fired. Residents reported hearing banging and hammering from inside the house after police arrived. Police refused to release any further details early today.