Police are investigating why a man in his 60s collapsed and died as he was about to be arrested for disorderly behaviour at a block of flats in Levin.

Police were called to the block of seven flats in Bristol St after reports of disorderly behaviour about 6.30pm yesterday.

Two officers spoke to a complainant at a nearby address before approaching the man.

Officers spoke to him and advised him he would be arrested, after which he collapsed.

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They called an ambulance and put him in the recovery position.

However, his condition deteriorated and ambulance staff were unable to revive him.

Police have referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Authority, which is standard practice when a person dies immediately following contact with police.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out to establish the cause of death.

Investigation head Senior Sergeant Phil Skoglund said he was unable to go into details about the disorderly behaviour incident because the matter was still being investigated.

"The police are conducting an investigation into the matter until we're able to clarify what the cause of death was.''

Mr Skoglund said police were still at the address and inquiries were still ongoing.

Daphne Linnell, proprietor of the Totara Motel across the road from the flats, said police in plain cars were investigating.

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She did not hear any disturbances last night because she would have been attending to guests.

Wednesday was also "a big night'' for the RSA, next-door to the flats, with a lot of people turning up for the weekly membership draw.

"There's always car doors banging and stuff, so you don't necessarily notice that much.''

The man will not be named until next of kin have been notified.