A man believed to be a resident of Frankton Motor Camp was arrested by armed police today after allegedly threatening arborists with a samurai sword.

A witness told the Otago Daily Times the man came out of a house on Yewlett Cres about noon and shouted ''shut the f*** up'' at a team of arborists trimming trees by the camp's entrance.

One of the arborists, who was using a chainsaw, told the witness the man "threatened them with a samurai sword".

The man then went back into his house.

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''There were other people in the house, who left when they realised the police were coming.''

Ten police officers arrived, seven carrying rifles, fanned out and surrounded the house.

''They must have been on the phone to him giving him instructions, which he followed when he came out.''

He walked out of the house with his hands in the air and lay down on the ground before being handcuffed and put in a patrol car.

The whole incident, which lasted about 30 minutes, was frightening, she said.

A police spokesperson said a report of a man ''acting threateningly'' in Frankton was received at 12.05pm.

The man had been arrested, and no one was injured in the incident.