Police disclose 'suspicious item' which closed Nelson streets

December 9, 2022
A hidden geocache (file image).

Police have disclosed what the "suspicious item" was which closed a number of Nelson streets earlier this week.

Kerr St, Konini St and Gloucester St were closed after reports of a "suspicious item" being found on Kerr St about 1.15pm on Wednesday.

The Defence Force Ordnance Disposal team later determined the item posed no risk to the public and today the police have revealed why - it was a geocache.

Geocaching is an internet-based treasure hunt of American origin that uses GPS coordinates. Geocaches are devices fitted with GPS which are hidden in containers.

"A geocache clue was placed in what appeared to be an explosive device and left on a Nelson park bench on December 7, sparking a Police and NZDF response, which led to significant disruption including street closures," police said.

"Police don't want to spoil people's fun, but we'd like them to avoid making geocaches that look suspicious - especially if they look like explosive devices."

The statement asked Kiwis to "apply some common sense" when participating in geocaching, given that geocachers will go looking for them and could disrupt others.

"Geocaches cannot be left on private property without permission of the landowner," police stated.