A man on the run after a mother of three was shot dead in Greymouth yesterday has been arrested peacefully near Arahura Marae today after a tip-off from the public.

West Coast police today confirmed they were able to track down and arrest 45-year-old George Sean Warren within an hour of receiving the information.

He was wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Hayley Williams, 43, at her house in Greymouth yesterday afternoon.

West Coast area commander Inspector Mel Aitken said Warren was found walking on the Old Christchurch Rd in the vicinity of the marae, at a tiny settlement about 33km south of Greymouth.

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Several West Coast armed police and CIB members apprehended Warren, who gave himself up, Aitken said.

"It was a very peaceful resolution," Aitken said.

"Phenomenal" help from locals in the past 24 hours had helped police track down Warren.

Police are no longer seeking anyone else today in relation to the shooting, she said.

It's understood that Williams, 43, had three children. Police believe Williams and the shooter may have known each other.

Amanda Williams, a friend of Hayley Williams, described her as a "very kind and compassionate lady".

"No way did she ever deserve that," she wrote on Facebook.

"I'm broken ... gutted... sick to my stomach."

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Police confirmed there were "a number" of children at the property when the shooting happened but declined to comment on whether any of them were related to Williams.

Armed police descended on Arahura Marae earlier today during the search for George Warren. Photo/Supplied
Armed police descended on Arahura Marae earlier today during the search for George Warren. Photo/Supplied

Earlier, armed police descended on Arahura Marae. Police confirmed to the Herald that they were at the marae, located between Greymouth and Hokitika.

They were looking for Warren, a 45-year-old described as Maori, of medium to solid build, 177cm tall, with short or shaved hair.

He is alleged to have fled after Williams was shot to death at a house on Marsden Rd in Greymouth, south of the Sinnott Rd intersection about 4pm yesterday.

"Warren may be armed and should not be approached. Any sightings should be reported to 111 immediately," Aitken said at the time.

The Herald contacted Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae events co-ordinator Miriama Johnsen in relation to the police presence at the marae, but she refused to comment.

Police earlier today found the vehicle the alleged shooter is believed to have used when leaving the Greymouth property where the shooting took place. The vehicle is being examined.

An associate of Warren was also helping police with their enquiries but they declined to say whether he was in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.

"Police are doing everything we can to support the family during this difficult time," she said.

Hayley Williams, 43, was shot at her residence on Marsden Rd in Greymouth around 4pm on Sunday. Photo/Google Maps
Hayley Williams, 43, was shot at her residence on Marsden Rd in Greymouth around 4pm on Sunday. Photo/Google Maps

An armed cordon remained at the house overnight. A scene examination is expected to take some days.

Police are also still seeking the weapon used in the incident. They do not know what type of firearm was used to shoot Williams.

However police were confident there was no further threat to public safety.

Aitken said people living near the scene of the shooting on Marsden Rd should expect to continue to see the presence of investigators over the next week.

"West Coast Police are grateful to the public for helping us with our enquiries," she said.

"With the assistance of the public and the commitment of our staff, police were able to make an arrest within 24 hours of this incident."