Whanganui Police clears danger; Cordons lifted

Update: 2:32PM NORTH ISLAND, NZ: WHANGANUI Police have stood down cordons and extra staff in the Tawhero area of Whanganui where there were reports of a male carrying a firearm wearing a balaclava before 8am today.

Police had cordoned the area around Tawhero School as a precaution and the school voluntarily had gone into lockdown.  

Police received only one report of this male and they had not located anyone of this description in Tawhero.

Acting Area Commander Whanganui Andrew McDonald said a detailed search of the wider area was completed and “we are now satisfied that there is no longer a risk to the community”.

He said under those circumstances, the school’s response was appropriate and the correct decision was made to lock the school down to keep the children safe.

“We believe the community would expect us to respond in the manner we did and although we are satisfied that the community is not at risk, we thank the community for their patience in this matter,” Mr McDonald said.

“The school has done a fantastic job and their response was quick and effective.

“Police staff responded quickly and we had staff in the area within minutes of the emergency call and the area was cordoned.”

He said cordons were lifted at about 9.15am and the school reopened.

“We realise that a number of children or parents may have been affected by this incident and we encourage people to call Victim Support on 0800 842 846 if they require it. ” 

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