A Wellington man has been arrested after a Wellington high school's ball at Te Papa was ruined by a suspicious package.

A man, 27, will appear in court after an "item of concern" was found in a loading dock and reported to police last Friday night.

Te Papa management evacuated the museum as a precaution, forcing the short-notice cancellation of Wellington Girls' College ball. Students arriving at the venue were turned away.

The man appeared in Wellington District Court yesterday charged with wilful damage and burglary.


He was remanded on bail to reappear on July 2.

Army bomb-disposal experts detonated a suspicious package on the night.

The police said the squad did a series of controlled detonations on the night.

Te Papa chief executive Geraint Martin had told the Herald: "A suitcase was discovered in a part of the museum, in the loading bay. We asked the police to investigate."

He said the suitcase had not been confirmed as a bomb: "We don't know what it is."