Explosive device detonated on Northland beach

Unexplained death in Taita, Lower Hutt early on Sunday 26th January 2020.  A Police cordon and crime scene invetsigation tent were in place Monday 27th January 2020.  Police Emergency tape.

Photo: RNZ / Patrice Allen

An explosive device found on a remote Northland beach has been blown up by the bomb squad.

Environmental rangers from Far North iwi Te Aupōuri found the object at Great Exhibition Bay, about 70km north of Kaitāia, on Tuesday evening.

They alerted police who in turn notified the Defence Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team.

A Defence Force spokesman said the object had been identified as a KC25 marine marker and had been disposed of by controlled demolition.

He said anyone who encountered a potential explosive device should keep clear and call the police.

Niki Conrad, lead taio ranger for Te Aupōuri, said the device appeared to have washed up on the northern end of Great Exhibition Bay, in the vicinity of Te Kao, in the recent storm.

The iwi contacted local residents urging them to stay away until the bomb squad had made the area safe.

The rangers had been on their way to check a dead sperm whale further north when they spotted the device on the beach.

Marine markers typically contain phosphorus and an explosive charge.

They can be dropped from aircraft or launched from ships, and are used in search and rescue missions, anti-submarine warfare and maritime research.

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