A man was shot in the hand after helping to break up a scuffle at a Kapiti bar early this morning.

Detective Sergeant Ian Martin of Kapiti police said the man stepped in to help bar security staff who were in a dispute with two local men at about 1am.

The scuffle ended peacefully.

The man was later with two friends outside the Paraparaumu Fire Station on Kapiti Rd when a car pulled up on the other side of the road.

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The man recognised the driver as one of the two men involved in the earlier altercation.

He and the driver exchanged words before a passenger got out of the car and pointed a gun at him.

The man unsuccessfully wrestled for the weapon before the passenger returned to the car, which drove off towards the Kapiti Lights.

He then chased the car on foot for a short distance before it stopped again.

"The passenger shot at the victim, who received a superficial hand wound," Mr Martin said.

Police said they are following strong leads. They are calling for anyone with information to get in touch.