Two Auckland dairies were robbed within 20 minutes of each other this afternoon - one at gunpoint, and one by masked robbers with a machete.

It's not clear if the robberies are related, despite the two shops being just five minutes apart by car.

Around 3pm police were called to an aggravated robbery at Marlowe Superette on Blockhouse Bay's Marlowe Rd.

"Two males with scarves over their faces and armed with a machete robbed the store of cash and cigarettes before decamping in a vehicle," a police spokeswoman said.

Then at 3.20pm police were called to a dairy in nearby New Windsor which had been robbed at gunpoint, with the offenders taking cash and cigarettes.

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A police spokesman said officers had been called to the dairy at 57 New Windsor Rd at 3.20pm.

"Police have been told a firearm was presented and that money and cigarettes were taken," he said.

No ambulance was called, he said. Police are investigating both robberies but it's not clear if they are linked.

The dairy's owner was unable to comment tonight as police are still at the scene.

But former owner Ram Lochan - who sold the shop last year - could recall his store being robbed three times in 23 years.

Lochan spoke to the Herald in 2008 when a friend's dairy nearby was robbed. At the time he said he was concerned shopkeepers had no way of protecting themselves.

"When we protect ourselves, we get charged - and if we don't we get stabbed. What do we do?" he asked.