Disturbing footage has emerged of the terrifying moment a masked gunman storms a Christchurch dairy - and a worker bravely tries to fight him off.

The owner has his back turned to the door when the masked man burst into the Kidbrooke Street dairy at about 7:35am.

The gunman then ushered the owner over to the cash register before a scuffle broke out and the pair fell to the floor.

A CCTV camera captured the terrifying moment a masked gunman entered the dairy. Image / Police
A CCTV camera captured the terrifying moment a masked gunman entered the dairy. Image / Police

The owner then grabbed a bar and swung it at the robber, who scrambled back over the counter and out of the shop.

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The gunman does not appear to have made off with any cash.

Police say the dairy owner was taken to hospital but has since been discharged.

* Anyone who recognises the gunman, or has any information about the incident, is urged to contact Detective Craig Lattimore on 03 363 7400. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously: 0800 555 111.