Bomb threat sparks evacuation at Papamoa schools

By staff reporters

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A bomb threat has prompted the evacuation of a Papamoa school and created ''a bit of a madhouse'' as concerned parents pick up their children.

The incident was one of a string of threatening calls made to schools throughout New Zealand today.

Tahatai Coast School alerted parents of their students the school has today received a bomb scare at the school.

A reporter at Grenada Reserve, where the children have been evacuated to, said the area ''was a bit of a madhouse" with the number of parents who have arrived to pick up their children.

''There are so many cars here, picking up their kids. People are not panicked as such but there some parents who are a bit anxious, rather than panicked."

Parents were sent a text message to pick up their children because of the bomb threat.

Emergency authorities have responded, and it is understood some have been asked to help with crowd control of parents picking their children up.

A parent spoken to by the Bay of Plenty Times said they would take their child home and wait to hear if the school would be reopened today or tomorrow.

Students who had not yet been picked up were lined up and roll was taken to make sure all students were accounted for.

A parent said parents were only allowed to pick up their own children, they could not collect other kids on behalf of parents.

The threat is one of several that has shut down schools throughout New Zealand, including Berkley Normal Middle School in Hamilton.

New Zealand Police confirmed they are responding to number of incidents ''where schools have received calls of a concerning nature''.

Police said a threatening pre-recorded message had been phoned into a number of schools.

"We understand the fear and concern that these calls cause, however we reiterate that so far we have not established any actual threat to any school."

Police would not be disclosing the names of each school who had received a call today given the ongoing investigation and in the interest of preventing further such calls being made to other schools.

They said they are working with the schools' management teams to decide on the appropriate response.

"The safety of students, teachers and schools are our priority."

On Tahatai Coast School's Facebook page they warn parents of the threat and say the whole school has been evacuated to Grenada Reserve.

The school instructs parents to collect only their child or children from specific staff.



A parent told the Bay of Plenty Times her son had been evacuated because of the threat.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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