A woman has been fatally shot in a rural area in North Taranaki.
The shooting occurred in an area inland from Urenui in North Taranaki around 3:30pm this afternoon.
New Plymouth police are investigating the circumstances around the death of the woman, who's believed to be in her fifties.
It's understood a firearm has been recovered from the scene which is now surrounded by a police cordon.
Police are speaking with family members who they believe were there when the shooting occurred.
One was located in Waitara a short time after the shooting and the vehicle that person was found is has been impounded for forensic examination.
The car a family member of the woman shot dead was found in is to undergo forensic testing.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward, officer in charge of New Plymouth CIB, said the police were advised shortly after 3.30pm that a woman who is believed to be in her 50s had died in a house following a shooting.
Police and other emergency services responded. The house will remain guarded overnight as part of a full scene examination. He said police stopped a vehicle near Waitara a short time after the shooting and are speaking with a person who was in the car.
Sergeant Coward says inquiries are in the early stages and they have not established how the shooting happened or the realtionship between the victim and the person police stopped in a vehicle.
"It is premature for people to speculate on what happened and who might be involved. We have been talking with people who were at the house to find out more."
He says it's a stressful and emotional time for people who were present and they are mindful of this.
Photo: NZ Herald