An Australian tourist has been shot dead in New Zealand in what appears to be a violent carjacking, local media reports.

The New Zealand Herald reports a gunman broke into a campervan occupied by the sleeping Australian man and a Canadian woman at Raglan, some 150km south of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, in the early hours of the morning.

The man was reportedly shot several times. The woman, believed to be the man’s partner, managed to escape and ran for help.

Police found the abandoned campervan some 80km away near Hamilton. They located the Australian man’s body in the vehicle. reports authorities have initiated a major homicide investigation.

The gunman is reportedly on the run, and authorities have urged anyone who saw the vehicle this morning to come forward.

Witnesses have told the New Zealand Herald they heard police officers shooting at Gallagher Hockey Turf, with one saying they believe an arrest has been made.

While that report is unconfirmed, New Zealand Police say they will conduct a press conference shortly.

More to come.

Image: 9News