Emergency services have called off a search following reports a plane may have crashed in rural Tauranga.

A police spokeswoman said a person had called fire and police saying a plane, believed to be a Cessna, was seen going down in the area of rural Welcome Bay.

However, the sighting is now believed to have been of a plane doing a low-level gas pipe survey, not a crash.

Fire communications shift manager Colin Underdown said firefighters and police had headed to the southern ends of Kaitemako Rd and Waitaha Rd after the report came in about 3.15pm.


"We are looking but we can't find any sign of a plane crash at this stage," he said shortly after that.

Underdown said there hadn't been any other reports of a crash but responded to the report as a "plane versus ground" scenario.

Tauranga Airport manager Ray Dumble said he was aware there was a plane doing a low-level gas pipe survey.

A police spokeswoman said both police and fire were stood down by 3.40pm.