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Police were called after someone spotted the white insulation taped brown cardboard box, which was floating (label down) and had wires and cable coming out of it, police posted on Facebook.
It also had a large electronic box on the side.
Once retrieved, it transpired it was a Niwa atmospheric device.
These devices provide scientific measurements for Niwa and are regularly launched from a Central Otago launch site.
They can travel up to 30km into the atmosphere, before the life balloon pops and it returns to planet earth on a parachute.