Whangarei police want to catch an "idiot" who put a crude, homemade pipe bomb into a skip bin behind a business, prompting bomb disposal experts to race to the city.

Parts of Porowini Ave in Whangarei were cordoned off on Monday after the pipe bomb was found in a bin behind the Para Rubber premises at 9am, Senior Constable Paul Nicholas of Whangarei police said.

A member of the public discovered the bomb, encased in a 10cm long piece of metal pipe and primed to go off.

The area around the building was cordoned off for about two hours while members of the New Zealand Army's bomb disposal unit rushed to the city to deal with the explosive device. Members of the unit took the device to an area on Port Rd, where it was safely detonated.


Nobody was injured but Mr Nicholas said the pipe bomb had the potential to cause injury or death and destruction of buildings and property, and he appealed for anybody who may have seen any suspicious activity around the Para Rubber building, or who may know the "idiot" who made the bomb, to ring police on 09 430 4500.

Police wanted the person, or people, behind the bomb caught before they tried it again and put more lives at risk. While the person may think it was a bit of fun, it was a serious and dangerous crime, he said.

"The chances of serious injury or death if the thing had gone off were very high. There were a lot of people about and businesses operating in that area at that time.

"As well as the immediate danger from the pipe bomb, they are also very dangerous while being made. It's a very crudely made device and it's a very stupid thing to do to be playing with live explosives."