The police in Whangarei are looking for a man who triggered an Armed Offenders Squad callout.
Police say the AOS was sent out on Saturday morning to a rural property where it was thought there had been an altercation between a man and his nephew.
They say the women who called them had fled the house saying she had fears for a young man after her partner had assaulted him and threatened him with a firearm.
Police say the AOS entered the property on Mangakahia Road and found no-one inside.
They say several hours later the young man contacted his family to say he had left the house immediately after the altercation and had hitchhiked to a nearby town.
The police say a gunshot was reportedly heard in the area, and they have spent the day looking for the man but so far have been unable to locate him.