Police say a shot was fired during an attempted bank robbery in Otaki, north of Wellington, on Monday morning.
They say the would-be robber fired a shot into a security door that tellers use in the bank.
No one was injured and the man left without getting any money.
Police say the bank's staff are very shaken by the incident.
They are seeking a man of solid build who at the time was wearing a blue mask with white teeth on it, a black jacket with a white or grey stripe above and below the elbow, black pants and orange gloves.