The man shot dead by police north of Auckland on Saturday morning will not be named publicly until after his funeral.

Police have this afternoon revealed the 29-year-old's family have requested that his name is not released until after they have farewelled him.

The East Auckland man was fatally shot by police after coming towards officers with a machete near Pohuehue at about 4am on Saturday.

Police spokeswoman Shelley Nahr explained why the man's name would not be released until later.

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"This is a very difficult time for the family," she said.

"And to release his name now would cause them undue stress and for this reason we will be waiting until after the funeral.

"They have also requested privacy at this time and ask that they be allowed to grieve the loss of a much-loved family member in private."

Police are calling for witnesses to come forward.

"Through our inquiries it has become clear that the vehicle involved in the incident was seen by members of the public," Nahr said.

"We are now appealing to our community for any information with regard to the white 2005 Subaru Legacy Saloon.

"We are specifically interested in any sightings of the vehicle in the Rodney area between Silverdale and Warkworth on State Highway 1 between 1.20am and 4am on Saturday 31 March 2018."

Nahr said no further information would be released by police.

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The Independent Police Conduct Authority is also investigating.

A third investigation is being undertaken by the Coroner.

On Saturday Waitemata District Commander Superintendent Tusha Penny explained how the shooting unfolded.

She said it was related to an earlier police callout at an address in Onehunga.

A female called police to report a person known to her had been acting erratically.

She left the scene because she feared for her safety.

Police were sent to the property about 3.10am, however no people or vehicles were there when they arrived.

About 20 minutes later, a rural police officer heading home from a shift saw a car pulled over with its hazard lights on SH1 north of Auckland.

However, the car quickly drove off. The police car followed and the car then stopped again.

As the officer was about to get out of his vehicle the driver of the car got out and came around to the driver's door of the police car, wielding a machete and threatening the officer.

The officer quickly moved away and called for backup. The officer watched the offender from a safe distance.

The alleged offender then got back into his car and headed south on SH1 towards Puhoi.

Additional police resources, including the Eagle helicopter, were called on to help.

The driver was believed to have been travelling at speeds of up to 150km/h and at times with lights off, Penny said.

Police placed spikes on the road, which successfully stopped the vehicle near Mahurangi West Rd about 3.50am.

As the first officers got out of the police car, the man, still armed with a machete, approached police again.

Police fired shots as he came towards them. Officers immediately started first aid and called an ambulance, but the man died at the scene.

Can you help?

If you have any information which you think may assist the investigation team, even if it is only minor, please contact North Shore criminal investigation branch on 09 477 5261.