Defence force explosives experts are tonight at a returned services cemetery on the outskirts of Napier after the discovery during the day of what police have called an "item of concern".

A police national communications centre spokesperson said just before 6pm the item had been "retrieved" near the cemetery earlier today and a cordon remained in place as a precaution.

Present was the New Zealand Defence Force explosive ordinance disposal team which police said was assessing the situation.

A member of the public told Hawke's Bay Today a police cordon, with two vehicles, was in place about 4.30pm at the entrance to Wharerangi Cemetery, near Prebensen Dr and off Cato Rd, Poraiti, about 4.30pm.