A 42-year-old man has been charged with murder after a woman was found dead near Christchurch International Airport this morning.

The man is expected to appear at Christchurch District Court tomorrow.

A homicide probe was launched after the woman was found with critical injuries at a secured Air New Zealand facility in the early hours.

Emergency services were called to Orchard Rd shortly before 6.50am.

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The woman died a short time later, police said.

A man at the scene was taken into police custody and later charged with murder.

Police said they are not seeking anyone else over the woman's death.

A police cordon surrounded the rear of an Air New Zealand engineering and maintenance facility this afternoon.

A scene examination was expected to be completed today.

A police spokesman this afternoon clarified that while the incident was near an Air New Zealand engineering/maintenance centre, it did not involve any airline staff.

A spokesman for Air New Zealand added: "While this incident is unrelated to Air New Zealand, we are assisting the police with their inquiries."

A hearse pulled into the heavily-fenced secure compound around 1.20pm.

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Uniformed police officers guarded the scene while private security contractors kept people away. They said they were unable to comment.

The site backs on to the main airport runway and is beside the vast Air NZ maintenance hangar.

It's understood that the grisly incident did not affect Air NZ's operations, with staff still coming and going this afternoon.

A St John hub is across the road and an ambulance was scrambled to the scene at 7.02am.

Officers assessed the man at the scene with minor injuries but he did not require hospitalisation.

While inquiries into the death are ongoing and the matter is before the courts, police say they are unable to comment further.