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Man In NZ Dead After Police Standoff Following Cache Of Guns Discovery

A 54-year-old man is dead after an overnight standoff with New Zealand police, following the discovery of a cache of guns at a property at an inner-suburb in Christchurch.

The man died from stab wounds after a long standoff with armed police in a Christchurch suburban street.

Police are now investigating whether the dead man had any link the March 15 mosque terror attacks.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said a search warrant was executed on a St Martins property late yesterday.

He said police discovered a number of firearms at the address. Police negotiators located the man in his car and spoke with him over several hours before approaching the vehicle.

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"At around 3.40am police approached the vehicle and discovered the man critically injured with what appeared to be a stab wound. A knife was located in the vehicle," Bush said in a statement.

"Immediate first aid was provided however the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

He said were no firearms in the vehicle.

"Members of the public who heard what they thought were explosions were hearing police deploying gas at the scene."

A high priority investigation is underway to determine whether the man posed a threat to the community or not.

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"This will include further searches of Christchurch properties and interviews with family and associates," Bush said.

There is no evidence at this stage that this person had any involvement in the attacks of 15 March, however, this forms an important part of the investigation, he added.

Bush said he was grateful to the members of the public who had reported the suspicious activity of the man.

Contact the author alattouf@networkten.com.au