One person is dead after a suspected shooting that left three others injured.

A rural Waikato school has been shut and some residents were unable to leave after the early-morning incident in Kawhia.

The crime scene appears to now stretch about 10km and involve three separate properties including Hauturu School, about 20km south of Kawhia.

Two vehicles also appear to now be under investigation, including a Toyota SUV which is parked up at the school with its back window smashed out.

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Three people are now being treated for moderate injuries after the suspected shooting at 4am today.

Early this morning Hauturu School staff called parents of pupils at the school to tell them the school was closing for the day due to an incident there.

Residents of nearby Berntsen Rd were initially unable to leave their road after it was cordoned off due to the discovery of a vehicle of interest - a Toyota Hilux.

Police at a possible third crime scene, south of Hauturu School on Harbour Rd. Photo / Dean Taylor
Police at a possible third crime scene, south of Hauturu School on Harbour Rd. Photo / Dean Taylor

NZME reporter Dean Taylor who is at the scene said the Hilux was taken away by a tow truck at 10.30am.

Taylor said police have now cordoned off the school, including the late model grey Toyota Harrier SUV which also has its back window smashed.

Clothing and a shoe as well as what looks like blankets are also on the ground next to the car.

He says it appears to be parked in the driveway of the house situated on the school grounds.

Investigators have also since headed to a possible third crime scene about 5km south of the school.

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Locals have told NZME the incident started at a property south of the school, before four people got into the Toyota and drove to the school for help.

It's unclear if the school staff member or another person then called police for help.

Police had since set up a camp opposite the school. There were currently about eight police cars, a trailer as well as their booze bus while a police photographer was taking photos of items of interest, including clothing, on the ground.

Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said they were called to a rural address about 4am today after reports four people were shot.

One person is now dead, while three others are in a moderate condition.

"One person is assisting police with their inquiries and at this stage we are not seeking anyone else in relation to the incident.

"Police are working to understand the circumstances."

A Berntsen Rd resident told the Herald they were unaware of any drama until receiving a phone call from the school earlier this morning.

The resident said they were told the school had to be closed due to an incident occurring there this morning.

The person said people had "turned up at the school and something's gone down".

Another resident had seen an overturned red car near the school.

Earlier, the Hilux was stripped of its number plate and kept under police guard as it remained in situ on Harbour Rd, at the intersection of Berntsen Rd.

Residents have been told by police, many of whom are armed, that the road is now closed.

"We hear there's one dead but we're locked in, we can't get out. There's no school and we can't get out to take the other one to high school.

"They've got the AOS, the men with the big guns there too.

A large number of police have set up camp opposite Hauturu School, about 20kms south of Kawhia, after an incident early this morning. Photo / Dean Taylor
A large number of police have set up camp opposite Hauturu School, about 20kms south of Kawhia, after an incident early this morning. Photo / Dean Taylor

"They tell us that it's a crime scene and we can't get out," one woman said.

Another resident said the Hilux was currently parked at the end of Berntsen Rd and police were there, "and at some stage they were trying to get people to get out of the car".

He said he was unsure if the vehicle was stolen or had been involved in some sort of police chase.

Police with the silver Toyota Hilux at the intersection of Harbour and Berntsen Rds early this morning. Photo / Dean Taylor
Police with the silver Toyota Hilux at the intersection of Harbour and Berntsen Rds early this morning. Photo / Dean Taylor

"I did see that the number plates have been removed."

"But it's all ended up at the Hauturu School and they've gone up there and something else has happened there ... police are everywhere, the [rescue] helicopter has been out. They picked somebody up but then they landed again."