Fire crews are battling a large blaze at a primary school in Christchurch this morning.
Emergency services were called to Russley School just after 7am.
A Fire and Emergency NZ staffer said when crews arrived, they found one building well involved by fire.
Flames could be seen from down the road at one point and large plumes of black smoke tinged the otherwise clear blue sky.
Four fire engines and a command unit are at the scene.
An urgent message has been posted on the school's website and its social media pages telling parents and children to stay away.
"Russley School is closed due to a classroom fire. Please do not send your children to school today," the note reads.
An earlier notice informed the school community that classrooms one to four were all on fire.
"Please stay away until further notice."
A parent at the scene told the Star News that they had been told the fire was near the office building.
"We just saw a big cloud of smoke across from the direction of the school. I am just so pleased it didn't happen during school hours."
The school's deputy principal, Jane Rush, told the publication the fire was "substantial" and that school management are due to be in touch with the appropriate authorities.
"The classes damaged were senior classes," she said.
"At this stage, the school is closed and we will be discussing how long it will be closed with the Ministry of Education today."