A gunman is still on the loose after firing at a Far North house yesterday, causing a nearby school to go into lockdown for several hours.

No one was injured, police said, but they confirmed multiple shots were fired.

"Police believe there is no immediate threat to general members of the public, however local residents are asked to report to police anyone acting suspiciously around their property," Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson said.

Ahipara School went into lockdown after the incident, posting on Facebook about 1pm that they were advised to do so by police.


The lockdown was a precaution, Robinson said.

It was lifted about 3.15pm, when parents were allowed to collect their children.

Police were first notified of the incident at 10.30am after shots were fired at a property in Takahe Rd.

"Several people were inside the address at the time, but fortunately no one
was harmed."

Police believed the alleged offender knew the house's occupants.

Multiple cordons were in place, including around Takahe Rd as police -
including the armed offenders squad and the Eagle helicopter - continued searching for the gunman.

A resident on Reef View Rd reported seeing the police Eagle helicopter about 12.05pm.

The helicopter looked as if it would land at the golf club, he said, but instead circled above Foreshore Rd and the hills which run between the coast and the Ahipara Gumfields.


Another witness reported seeing it land at the rugby grounds opposite Ahipara School around 12.25pm. Residents were advised to stay inside.

An early childhood centre in the tiny Far North coastal township also posted on Facebook that it had been locked down.

A spokeswoman from North Drift Cafe, across the road from the school, said she had heard police were attending an incident involving a gunman.

"We got a call a little while ago from the school saying they've shut it down because there was a man with a gun in the area."

Robinson said a significant police presence remained in the area yesterday evening as officers made inquiries.

Meanwhile, principal Jackie Osborne said it was just another Monday for Ahipara School. The children regularly practised the lockdown procedure so weren't in the least alarmed.

"They're not sure if it's a real emergency or a drill. They're all safe, and it's business as usual," she said.

Police found a vehicle believed to belong to the offender abandoned on Foreshore Rd, where he is thought to have fled on foot into the bush leading to the Ahipara Gumfields.