Suspicious package containing ‘white powder’ is found near Jacinda Arden’s office sparking emergency response
- Package containing ‘white powder’ discovered near office of NZ Prime Minister
- Specialist fire service units attended parliamentary building on Monday morning
- Envelope addressed to Jacinda Ardern was picked up in mailroom of the Beehive
A suspicious package containing ‘white powder’ has been discovered near the office of the New Zealand Prime Minister.
The mysterious envelope was found one floor below Jacinda Ardern on Monday, sparking response from the specialist fire service unit.
The prime minister had been working on level nine of New Zealand’s parliamentary precinct ahead of a cabinet meeting on the floor above.
The package – addressed to Ms Ardern – had been collected in the mailroom of level eight of the Beehive, the executive wing of the government building.
A suspicious package containing ‘white powder’ was found on the floor below the office of the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) on Monday morning
The package – addressed to Ms Ardern – had been collected in the mailroom of level eight of the Beehive, the executive wing of the government building (pictured)
The security scare sparked response from three specialist units, including a hazardous material truck, which were parked at the rear of the parliamentary building.
It comes just days after Christchurch airport was evacuated after a suspicious item believed to be an explosive device was found during a routine bag screening.
The airport, located just outside the city on the south island, was cleared at about 8am local time last Thursday morning after security found what was believed to be an ‘improvised explosive device’ (IED).
Police were immediately called to the domestic terminal with all staff and passengers told to leave.
Flights were suspended in the area and police are currently speaking to two people in relation to the item.
Ms Ardern (pictured) had been working on level nine of the parliamentary precinct ahead of a cabinet meeting on level ten
The New Zealand Defence Force’s bomb team were called to the terminal to investigate the item as a precaution, with sniffer dog units also patrolling the airport.
An Avsec worker had identified the item as it moved through a layer, prompting officials to shut down the building.
Police were called in but dismissed the threat, although they did not disclose what the item was.
The suspicious package found at New Zealand’s parliamentary buildings comes less than two weeks after a man considered one of the country’s most dangerous extremists went on a stabbing rampage in an Auckland supermarket.
Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, was shot dead after after stabbing five people and injuring two others during an attack at the Countdown supermarket in New Lynn in west Auckland.
Ms Ardern said the man had been watched 24/7 since 2016 and admitted she was ‘gutted’ he was able to carry out the attack despite being on the terror watchlist.
The security scare at New Zealand’s parliamentary buildings comes just days after Christchurch airport was evacuated after security found what was believed to be an ‘improvised security device’ (pictured, a plane at Christchurch International Airport)
‘What happened today was despicable, hateful and wrong,’ she said. ‘It was carried out by an individual, not a faith or religion. He was gripped by violent and ISIS-inspired ideology that is not supported here.
‘This was a violent attack. It was senseless. And I am so sorry that it happened.’
Five of the victims in hospital received knife wounds while one suffered a dislocated shoulder and is now recovering at home. Three were hospitalised in a critical condition.
Officers shot the terrorist dead within 60 seconds of hearing shouts and seeing people running from the supermarket.
The knifeman is known to have posted a warning to ‘Kiwi scums’ on social media after receiving a formal warning from police over his disturbing internet searches and purchases.
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