A kōhanga reo was not told to go into lockdown during a recent Armed Offenders Squad callout because it was not on the police command centre's database in charge of advising schools and kindergartens, it has been revealed.
Rotorua area commander Inspector Phillip Taikato told the Rotorua Daily Post he visited the kōhanga with a school community officer yesterday morning. He said visit went "extremely well", with the primary aim being to explain what happened and reassure the kōhanga of the police's commitment to the community's safety.
"We felt that we addressed their concerns ... it was well-received by the parents and the kaiako (teachers)."
He said the command centre used Google Maps to locate schools and the kōhanga was missed out because it was not listed there.
Taikato said police had processes in place to prevent future miscommunication, such as getting direct phone numbers and developing a better communication network with early childhood centres and schools to ensure a "clear and concise message" was sent out.
Taikato previously told the Rotorua Daily Post local police believed all schools and early childhood learning facilities were informed.
This was the second time the daycare had not been notified of a potentially dangerous situation which required armed police - the first was in November last year.
A written statement from Te Kōhanga Reo National Office said the kōhanga was "unhappy" that it was not notified by police of the lockdown.
The statement said police visited the school to "apologise to the Kōhanga Reo whānau about been left out of the notification".
The kōhanga would review its lockdown procedure, provided by the Ministry of Education, and work with police to ensure they have updated contacts for each kōhanga in Te Waiariki, Tauranga Moana and Tūwharetoa area.
In the latest incident, on Monday, police were called to a report of a man threatening another person with a firearm at a Homedale St address in Pukehangi.
The Armed Offenders Squad responded and cordons were put in place.
A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged with using a phone for a fictitious purpose, a police spokeswoman said.
Before the alleged hoax came to light, schools and kindergartens in the area were contacted by police and put into lockdown as a safety precaution.
All, but one.
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Central Kids Kindergarten Homedale was outside the cordon but was told by police to go into lockdown.
A staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the children were not made aware of what was going on which kept them all calm.
Aorangi School on Gem St was about 400m away from Homedale St, where the incident was unfolding, was also contacted by police and told to go into lockdown as a precaution, a spokesperson confirmed on Monday.
But across the road, Te Kōhanga Reo Ki Aorangi was not.
This was the second time a situation has left the kohanga in the dark, with a gun incident last year, around the corner, was left unreported to schools by police.
In the November incident, at least six daycares and three primary schools were not told what was going on nor whether the children were safe as armed police guarded cordons in Mangakakahi.
A shot was reportedly fired, cars crashed into each other and a window was smashed with a metal bar in what a witness claimed was a clash involving gang members.
Armed police had guarded cordons off Edmund Rd at the intersections of Roger St and Joanne Cr and the Armed Offenders Squad entered the house where the front window had been smashed.
At the time, Te Kōhanga Reo ki Aorangi staff member Teria Kiel-Verco said schools, daycares, kohanga and workplaces needed to be told why there was such a presence.
"Schools and kohanga should have been told regardless, even if they were to say that the issue had been dealt with ... it would be up to them if the option to stay open is available," she said.
The Ministry of Education sector enablement and support secretary Katrina Casey said the ministry followed the police's lead and assisted as asked.
"For localised incidents, we would not expect police to need to seek our help," she said.
Casey said the safety and wellbeing of school children and staff was a priority for us all and followed the police's lead to make the key decisions.