A man's been shot dead by police north of New Plymouth this afternoon.

Police were called to reports an armed man in his 50s had left a property near Waitara in distress just after 3.30pm.

They found his vehicle on Brixton's Mamaku Rd half an hour later.

Police say when officers advanced on the vehicle, the man, who was known to police, presented a firearm at them.

Advertisement

He was then shot by police, who gave him first aid, but he died at the scene.

An investigation into the shooting is now underway and the IPCA has been notified.

A scene guard will be in place overnight.