Sniffer dogs investigate package

St John district operations manager David Baillie believes residents are on high alert, as...
St John district operations manager David Baillie believes residents are on high alert, as authorities respond to a second false alarm over a suspicious package in Queenstown.PHOTO: MIRANDA COOK
Queenstown police sniffer dogs responded to reports of a suspicious package in what is the second incident of its kind in the district this week.

A member of the public called authorities around noon yesterday after finding an unknown package - which was later deemed safe - in grass outside the St John ambulance station on Douglas St, in Frankton.

District operations manager David Baillie said all of New Zealand was on heightened alert following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch last month.

"I think most New Zealanders are on alert for unusual situations and are being more vigilant," Mr Baillie said.

He was inside the ambulance station when the alarm was raised, and he said staff were told to stay inside until the building was secured and they were given the all-clear. There was no impact on staff at the nearby Lakes District Hospital.

A police spokeswoman described the incident as an "innocent mix-up" after a courier driver dropped off a parcel to the wrong address.

Police dogs were used as a precaution, she said.

The situation comes just days after Queenstown police responded to a bomb scare at Queenstown Airport on April 8, when a bag was found unattended. However, that too was a false alarm.

It was a similar story in Dunedin last month, when the airport was closed following reports of a suspicious package on the airfield. The item turned out to be a "hoax object".

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