There is significant disruption to drivers and residents around Browns Bay on Auckland's North Shore after a gas pipe was punctured, causing a gas leak.

Police are asking motorists to stay away from the suburb after a leak in the Beach Rd area was reported about 9am.

Roads had been closed to protect the public and traffic was already building up around the Woodlands Cres and Carlisle Rd areas this morning.

It was unclear whether residents were able to access their homes.

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Police said delays of up to four hours were expected while crew repaired the leak.

"We thank motorists for their patience and encourage people to take alternate routes or avoid the area if at all possible," a police spokesperson said.

A Vector spokesman confirmed four hours was the time it estimated crew would take to repair the gas strike.

He said a pipe had been punctured by someone digging.

There was no danger to the public while emergency services were keeping everyone away from the area, he said.

Fire and Emergency northern communications shift manager Colin Underdown said four fire crew were on standby, helping divert traffic and staying on scene in case the leak ignited.

He understood a digger had struck a main while carrying out works at a private address on Beach Rd.