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.

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"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.