Armed police have swarmed an inland town between Whakatāne and Kawerau, in search of a person of interest.

There was a large police presence in the small inland town of Te Teko, while police looked for a person of interest throughout Thursday afternoon.

The Armed Offenders Squad were assisting officers as a precautionary measure, a police spokeswoman said.

Residents have been told to stay indoors while parts of the town are cordoned off, News Whakatane reported.

No further details were available as inquiries were ongoing, she said.

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