Waikanae School evacuated after bomb scare

By Cloe Willetts -
Children wait for their parents to pick them up from the Waikanae Memorial Hall after the Waikanae School was evacuated following a bomb threat. Photo: Cloe Willetts
Children wait for their parents to pick them up from the Waikanae Memorial Hall after the Waikanae School was evacuated following a bomb threat. Photo: Cloe Willetts

A Kapiti Coast school has been evacuated to a nearby community hall following a bomb scare, which the principal says was sparked by an email from overseas.

At the Waikanae Memorial Hall, where the students are gathered waiting for parents to pick them up, Waikanae School principal Bevan Campbell declared the threat a hoax.

"We received an email that was sent last night at 7.12pm, which stated there were bombs on the school premises," he said.

Campbell said the threat stated the devices were due to be detonated at a time, but didn't specify whether this would be in the morning or tonight.

"We've had to put into place our evacuation procedures, including evacuation from the school, notification of parents and police, and closure of the school."

A sign was posted on the office window of Waikanae School: "Due to bomb scare we have evacuated the school to the Memorial Hall. Please take your child home."

"It's the first time it's happened to us," Campbell said. "But it's not the first time it's happened to schools on the Kapiti Coast.

"It came from an overseas email address and police are checking the property and ascertaining that it's clear and once that's once, we'll head back to school."

Waikanae School student Mia Dray, 10, told the Kapiti News: "We don't really know what's happening but we came to the hall because that's pretty much the safest thing we could do.

"They told us to get our bags and go to the hall.

"People are happy to get away from school because we want to be playing but we want to be able to go and get our stuff, like our bags and scooters."

Kapiti police Senior Sergeant Chanel Chapman said initial inquiries showed there was no reason to believe the threat would be carried out.

"The local police staff have been and done a clear sweep of all the classrooms and school grounds looking for any unusual devices and absolutely nothing was found, so there's no concern at this stage," she said.

Chapman said efforts would be made to find the source of the threat.

"We'll do some tracing and see if we can track it back to its origins. It appears it's come from overseas somewhere and we've had a few of these already this year."

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