A man who sparked a bomb scare in central Wellington's pleaded guilty to offensive behaviour.

Whangarei man Sonny Wairau was fined $600 for using threatening words and being reckless as to whether any person was alarmed by those words in the Wellington District Court this morning.

Whangarei man Sonny Wairau was fined $600 for using threatening words and being reckless as to whether any person was alarmed by those words. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Whangarei man Sonny Wairau was fined $600 for using threatening words and being reckless as to whether any person was alarmed by those words. Photo / Mark Mitchell

It was downgraded from an earlier charge of making threats to harm people or property.

On the evening of April 24, police cordoned off a section of Willis St over reports of threats made by someone on a bus.

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The summary of facts said Wairau was waiting at a Wellington bus stop with two suitcases and an ammunition tin and made a comment referencing he had a bomb to the bus driver. The comment caused alarm to the bus driver.

The summary said the incident caused serious disruption to local community and businesses and congestion up to an hour after the event.

Wairau's lawyer Brett Crowley said the 41-year-old was "mouthing off" at a sense of frustration he was being picked on by other people on the bus for carrying an ammunition tin.

Crowley said Wairau did reference a bomb by saying things like "It's like you think I've got a bomb" and "You're treating me like I've got a bomb."

On the night in question, police cordoned off a section of Willis St in Wellington for hours over reports of threats made by someone on a bus. Photo / NZME
On the night in question, police cordoned off a section of Willis St in Wellington for hours over reports of threats made by someone on a bus. Photo / NZME

He said Wairau was "very remorseful and regretful" he caused so much disruption to so many people.

A Wellington commuter - who did not want to be named - said at the time he was waiting at a bus stop on Willis St when he saw a driver pull over and kick a "big fella" off his bus.

"The bus driver was having a bit of a row with him but nothing major," the man said.
"Then the bus driver dragged off three big bags, overseas travel-sized bags."

The driver put the bags down and told the passenger to wait there until police arrived.

"It was all mellow, everyone was staying on the bus, they didn't seem that bothered," the witness said.

As the delay dragged on, the bus driver and the passenger got into a louder confrontation and began yelling at each other.

The other passengers then began to gradually get off the bus because they sensed it wasn't going to move anytime soon.

However, at no time was there any panic or mention of a bomb, the commuter said.
It wasn't until police arrived 15 minutes later that the commuter heard the driver first mention the passenger had threatened him with a bomb in his bag.

"That's when everyone cleared out real quick and that's about 15 minutes after the bags had been put down on the sidewalk," the commuter said.

The incident occurred about 5.20pm and led to several buildings being evacuated along lower Willis St, according to Herald reporter Jason Walls.