28 Jul 2022

Schools threatened with explosive device, police say

From Checkpoint, 5:07 pm on 28 July 2022

At least a dozen schools across the country have been forced into lockdown or evacuated, after being threatened by phone. Police are investigating after schools in Masterton, Kaikoura, Greymouth, Queenstown, Levin, Whanganui, Rolleston, Takaka, Geraldine, Dunstan, Ashburton and Palmerston North were targeted.

It's the second time this week serious threats have been directed at schools. And while some chose to evacuate, others went into lockdown and resumed classes later in the day.

Police assistant commissioner Bruce O'Brien has told Checkpoint police are working hard to understand and identify origins of the threats being made to schools around the country.

The majority of phone call threats are referring to an explosive device, which is why police believe the calls are coming from the same person, O'Brien said.

He said he's not 100 percent certain they're coming from offshore, but they're looking into it. He said in 2017 a similar threat came from offshore, and that person was held to account.