Cordons at a residential Whakatāne street have been removed following a police operation this morning.

A police spokeswoman said the cordons had been lifted following the operation on Alexander Ave.

People were earlier told to stay away from the area.

A Rotorua Daily Post reporter said there was still a police presence at a house on Alexander Ave and the property was taped off.

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A police spokeswoman said there was no risk to the public.

A resident said the armed officers have been in the area since the early hours of Thursday morning, and the street lights near the junction of Alexander Ave and Douglas St were turned off even before daybreak.

There are two pre-schools and childcare centres on the two streets, Little Orchard Pre-School and Bizzy Buddyz.

A reporter at the scene said she could see at least 20 police and a fire appliance.

When approached for comment Fire and Emergency NZ directed questions to police.