Two people are in hospital after being shot in Ellerslie last night.

One of the men was yelling out in pain as he was loaded into an ambulance.

The incident happened on Arthur St - near the suburb's popular stretch of restaurants and bars - just before 9pm.

Ambulance officers rushed two men to Auckland City Hospital. Photo / supplied
Ambulance officers rushed two men to Auckland City Hospital. Photo / supplied

Ambulance staff transported two men to Auckland Hospital with moderate injuries. Crew of the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter were also in attendance.

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A witness said police were talking to a woman in handcuffs, and one of the shot men was yelling out in pain as he was loaded into an ambulance.

"There were a number of police cars, some of the police were armed ... they had a police dog sniffing around near the property."

The property remained under police guard overnight.

A police spokesperson last night said they were called about a "firearms-related job" at 8.55pm and inquiries were ongoing. There was no update available this morning.

Gun-related crime is on the rise in New Zealand, figures recently reported by RNZ show, with 2019 having the highest rates of gun crimes and deaths involving firearms for a decade. There were 3540 incidents last year where an offender had a gun.

The scene of the shooting last night. Photo / supplied
The scene of the shooting last night. Photo / supplied

How to respond has been a controversial issue. Police Commissioner Andy Coster announced an end to "Armed Response" teams this year, after a trial of the teams of police carrying firearms in areas including Counties Manukau. Criticism of the trials intensified after Black Lives Matter protests, which began in the United States and spread around the world, including in New Zealand.

Police and the wider community are still reeling from the death of Constable Matthew Hunt, who was shot multiple times during a traffic stop in West Auckland in June and was the first police officer killed on the front line in 11 years.