According to Stuff.co.nz , the shooting occurred near at least one mosque in the area.
A man with a gun entered the mosque at around 1:40 p.m. local time, the former president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Mohammed Jama told Stuff.
New Zealand police urged people in the area to stay indoors. It was not immediately clear whether there were any injuries or deaths.
Police confirmed to Insider that the shooter is still active, but would not comment on the number of injuries.
According to Radio New Zealand , there were up to 300 people inside the mosque for afternoon prayers.
A witness told Radio New Zealand that a man in a helmet and glasses and a military style jacket entered the mosque and began shooting with an automatic weapon. He added that a woman and child may be among the injured.
This is a developing story. Check back soon for updates.