A major manhunt is under way after an Australian man was shot dead while sleeping in a campervan in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Herald says the man and his Canadian companion in their campervan at Raglan on the west coast of New Zealand’s north island when they were woken by a man banging on their window early on Friday.

The gunman reportedly demanded the keys to the campervan before shooting the Australian “more than once”.

The woman managed to escape and ran several kilometres for help.

Police said the body of a man was found in a stolen campervan abandoned on Gordonton Road, 80km away from the Raglan crime scene.

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The gunman is still on the loose, and police have launched a major search for him.

Authorities were initially called to “a serious incident” at 3.20am local time at Raglan.

More as we get it.

AAP.