Police are investigating the death of a 68-year-old man after what is believed to be a fall down stairs at a Dunedin bar this morning.

The incident occurred just before 4am on Stuart St, in the city centre.

A police spokesman this afternoon said the death, which occurred at upmarket lounge and rooftop bar Carousel, had been referred to the coroner.

A coroner routinely inquiries into deaths when they appear to be without known cause, self-inflicted, unnatural or violent.

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Police had no further details about the incident.

Bar owner John Devereux said the man had fallen down the flight of stairs at the entrance to the bar, and he understood it had happened after the bar's one-way door policy began at 3am.

Mr Devereux said his thoughts went out to all those affected by what had happened.

It was "absolutely" a shock and upsetting for the staff working at the time.

"It's very, very tragic and sad for everyone involved."

Emergency services rushed to the scene but the man died.

Police were at the premises this morning examining the scene, and the entrance to the bar was cordoned off.

Police are investigating the circumstances of the death.

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No further information has been released.