Parts of the Tauranga CBD were closed today while police removed a suspicious envelope from a building complex.
Police received a report about 8.30am alerting them to an envelope containing a suspicious powder found in the mailroom of the building on the corner of Cameron Rd and Third Ave.
Tauranga City Council occupies most of the five-storey (plus basement) office and retail building on the corner of Third Ave and Cameron Rd. The building also has retail spaces at street level.
A police media spokesman said the person who received the envelope identified it as suspicious and contacted police.
A cordon was in place between Cameron Rd and Third Ave, which was closed for several hours as police and Hazmat teams removed the suspicious package from the building.
A person who worked inside the building, who did not wish to be named, said the package containing a suspicious yellow powder was located in the building's mailroom.
"It was addressed to a staff member who doesn't normally get packages," he said.
Staff received an email about 8.30am advising them not to go into the mailroom.
Proactive customer service officer Jenny Hillis said she heard sirens about 8.15am.
"Then they put the cordons up. We didn't know what was going on," she said.
Hillis said an hour later a Tauranga City Council staff member advised them they had found a suspicious package in the postal room on Third Ave.
She said staff were advised to be on a partial lockdown and were told not to go outside.
"It was a bit scary," she said. "But they did the right thing. It has to be contained."
"I am very impressed with how they handled it. We have got clients coming in and out, so we were concerned for everybody."
At the scene, Tauranga police Senior Sergeant Shannon Clifford said Tauranga City Council's mailroom staff shut down the room and phoned emergency services.
The substance would be sent to environmental research scientists ESR to determine what it was and the police were investigating, he said.
Clifford said the items of the envelope were secured because of the possible hazard and could not confirm if there was a letter or note inside.