Items removed from Founders after explosives investigation

The items recovered were a mix of small glass vials, small tins and medical lint bandages. All had markings indicating picric acid content. Photo: File

Charles Anderson

The Defence Force's explosive experts removed several items from Founders Heritage Park on Tuesday that were thought to contain picric acid.

The Defence Force's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit were at the popular park on Tuesday forcing the evacuation of the area. The park reopened on Wednesday.

A Defence Force spokesperson said a number of items were removed from the park and disposed of safely.

“The items recovered were a mix of small glass vials, small tins and medical lint bandages. All had markings indicating picric acid content.”

The items were found during inventory checks of old presentations/displays.

The spokesperson said there had been five EOD callouts to safely dispose of picric acid in 2021.

“A number of museums are now reviewing their holdings to ensure the safety of their staff and the public. It is possible that historical holdings will continue to be identified as this process occurs.

“Items containing picric acid can pose a risk to the New Zealand public. If anyone has any concern about items they have discovered, call the Police as soon as possible and ensure to keep away from the items.”

Council's group manager community services Andrew White thanked the NZDF and the Police for their work at the park, and in ensuring the ongoing safety of its staff and visitors.

“We are grateful that we were able to review our collection and have the assistance of the EOD team so promptly, meaning Founders only had to be closed for a day.”