An incident at Kai Iwi Beach involving a person in difficulty in the sea ended with firefighters carrying out a cliff rescue of three people.

The incident happened on Sunday after one of the group got into difficulty in the water around 1.10pm. The two other people did not go into the water.

A spokeswoman said police were called and requested the assistance of a helicopter and Coastguard. However, the man got out of the water himself and the helicopter and Coastguard were stood down.

The group then found they were unable to make their way around the bottom of the cliff due to the incoming tide.

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"Police therefore requested that Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) assist and conduct a lines rescue," the spokeswoman said.

"FENZ brought the three people up the cliff with no issues."

There were no injuries to any of the group.