A man has been shot dead by police in the south Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe early this morning, after 13 calls from worried and fearful residents.
Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers told media at the scene police had received multiple calls soon after 1am about a man wielding a machete on Central Ave.
He was causing damage to vehicles, smashing windows in a house and attempting to cut power lines.
Police had also received calls suggesting the man had been involved in an earlier incident last night but had walked off.
A police dog handler arrived at the scene on his own and had repeatedly told the man to put down his weapon, but the man had kept advancing on the officer, Rogers said.
"He hasn't put the weapon down and has been shot."
The man was given immediate medical assistance, and other officers who arrived shortly after had also tried to help, but the man had died.
Nobody else had been hurt, Rogers said. The dog handler was being supported by colleagues.
"It's been a really frightening incident for all concerned."
In a statement later this morning Rogers said 13 separate calls had been received from "worried and scared residents" about the man's behaviour.
One resident, who spoke to the Herald on condition he not be named, was woken around 1.30am by banging. He looked out the window to see a man walking from the Carruth Rd direction toward Great South Road.
He went out to the front deck to see what was happening.
"I saw a guy walking past on the opposite side. He started to smash something - I couldn't see if it was the cars or a house. That's when I rang police."
The first police car had arrived quickly; the man had walked down a driveway so the neighbour couldn't see the shooting unfold, though he heard "about two shots - I'm not sure".
Police had since come to his door to ask for a statement.
A scene examination is being carried out and police are speaking with witnesses, Rogers said.
The man who was shot is still to be formally identified and next of kin advised.
Rogers said the outcome was tragic for everyone involved.
"Our sympathies are with the deceased man's family. We will ensure that Victim Support is available to them and will support them through this difficult process."
Every day police officers were put into complex, fast-moving situations where their lives and those of the public were at risk, and they had to make quick decisions, she said.
"No police officer comes to work wanting to end up in a situation like this.
"Their welfare is paramount to New Zealand Police and we have steps in place to make sure they are well supported."
Police have opened two investigations into the shooting - as is standard practice - and notified the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), Rogers said. The death will also be referred to the Coroner.
Police have cordoned off Central Ave, which runs between Great South Rd and Carruth Rd.
Auckland Transport said on Twitter the section of road was likely to remain closed for "much of the day".
"Please plan ahead to avoid any essential travel via this route," AT tweeted.
'I have confidence in the police': Local board chair
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Lotu Fuli told NZME residents were shocked and "a little bit worried" following the incident.
"Especially during the lockdown...this was very unexpected and shocking."
Despite the drama on Central Ave, the area is very quiet and people are continuing to observe the level 4 lockdown for Covid-19, Fuli said.
She asked people to remain in their homes and let police do their job.
"I have confidence in the police and I know that [shooting the man] is not something they would have taken lightly," she said. "It does sound like the police gave the man several warnings and that was a last resort."
She said the incident was very sad, however. "Our thoughts do go out to the deceased man's family who will also be going through a difficult time."