Three people have been killed and at least seven injured after a rare tornado ripped through the western suburbs of Auckland in New Zealand.

The tornado toppled trees and ripped debris from a construction site in the country's largest city.

Several construction workers were trapped beneath fallen concrete blocks at a school in the west Auckland suburb of Hobsonville.

Two people were killed at the school and the third person died after being struck by a tree.

Military personnel were going from door-to-door in the area to check if more people were trapped.

New Zealand has been hit by several natural disasters in recent years, including a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck the southern city of Christchurch in 2011, killing 185 people.

Another tornado in Auckland last May killed one person.