One person has been arrested after the Armed Offenders Squad attended an incident in Ohawe, near Hawera in Taranaki.

A police spokesman said the AOS was notified of reports a person was spotted with a firearm at Ohawe earlier this evening.

Police put cordons in place at Ohawe Beach Rd and Moana St following the reports and advised members of the public to stay away.

"Police have received a report of a potential sighting of a firearm," the spokesman said earlier tonight.

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"Police advise the public to stay away from the area. This is all the information we have at this time."

An Ohawe resident told the Herald originally two police cars arrived in the small coastal town with armed officers, shortly before another two police cars arrived.

He said there wasn't a strong presence of armed police in the area but knew to remain indoors when he spotted them walking around.