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Up to 20 officers carrying guns were seen storming the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour lobby this morning while customers and staff in the adjoining cafe were bundled out a separate entrance to safety.
At least one person was seen being taken from the hotel by police with the Eagle helicopter hovering overhead throughout the morning.
Shortly after 9am, a member of the public reported hearing gunfire outside the hotel.
Staff inside the hotel were understood to be taking cover as the incident unfolded, while others sheltered during an emergency lockdown.
Police are standing guard, with an investigation under way.
A witness told Stuff of dramatic scenes with up to 20 officers carrying guns storming the hotel lobby. Soon after the person saw a man dressed in red being taken from the hotel under police guard.
A nearby business owner described surreal scenes as police poured into the hotel's lobby while customers in the hotel's cafe were bundled out the side entrance.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said while he didn't hear any shots he saw a person being taken from the hotel who appeared to be under arrest.
"We've had a lot of police presence, they cleared all the people out of the cafe, and then brought them back in and they arrested one guy and put him in the van.
"It's a definitely a very edgy environment down here at the moment."
Around a dozen people, including staff, were inside the cafe at the time.
A Sofitel Viaduct employee told Newshub there was a "security threat" earlier and shots were fired, but the situation was now under control.
A police spokesperson said armed police were called to an incident on Viaduct Harbour Ave, Auckland Central, shortly after 9am. There were no reported injuries but armed police were called in as a precaution.
Police were making inquiries to establish exactly what had happened which were ongoing, said the spokesperson.
No further information was available at this early stage.
St John confirmed they were notified of an incident in central Auckland at 9.08am.
"One ambulance and one rapid response unit responded to the scene but have not been required," a spokeswoman said.
The Sofitel Hotel's general manager, Stephen Gould, confirmed an incident had occurred at the hotel.
"We are working with the local authorities. Our priority is caring for the health and safety of our teams and guests and we are doing everything we can to support them."