Emergency services are responding to a distress call from a vessel near Whakaari/White Island off the Bay of Plenty coastline.
The Westpac rescue helicopter has been sent from Auckland to assist.
In a statement, police told 1News it received a report of a mayday call earlier tonight.
"Police received a report of a mayday call from a vessel in the vicinity of Whakaari/White Island at about 7.20pm," they said.
"Coastguard are responding with a vessel. A helicopter is also responding from Auckland. Police are working to establish contact with those onboard the vessel."
It is not clear how many people are on board or what caused the distress signal.