Police Commissioner Mike Bush said in a statement that "all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown".
Members of the Bangladeshi cricket team have escaped a shooting at a mosque near Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
"They told me that five people died over there in that mosque, and I have seen with my own eyes, three people dead on the street", he said.
Local media said multiple people were killed in the incident.
Christchurch resident Katherine Jamieson is in lockdown in her home, which is located down the road from the Mosque.
He said he then heard numerous shots and that people subsequently ran from the mosque.
Police did not immediately comment on whether the incident took place in the mosque or nearby.
One man said the scene at the mosque was chaotic with as many as 40 people injured.
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Bangladesh and New Zealand are scheduled to begin the third and final Test at Hagley Oval on Saturday.
The Bangladesh cricket team was in the vicinity of the shooting but all members were safe, a team coach told media.
"Several minutes after they were barred from getting off the bus, the players escaped and ran through Hagley Park", Isam wrote.
Media reports suggest that at least 20 shots were fired.
There are unconfirmed reports that there has been a second shooting at a mosque in Linwood.
Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's population, a 2013 census showed.
"I heard a big sound of the gun". They lost their one-day worldwide series 3-0 and have also lost the three-Test series after New Zealand claimed victory in the opening two matches.
"When that was happening, one of the players had called me to contact the police".