'Suspicious package' shutters New Zealand's Dunedin airport

Dunedin Airport was closed on March 17, 2019, after a suspicious device was reported on the airfield.
Dunedin Airport was closed on March 17, 2019, after a suspicious device was reported on the airfield.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/DUNEDIN AIRPORT

CHRISTCHURCH (AFP) - New Zealand police closed Dunedin Airport late on Sunday (March 17) after a suspicious device was reported on the airfield.

"Dunedin Airport is currently closed," a statement said. "Police are at the scene and specialist teams have been deployed to determine the nature of the package."

New Zealand is currently on a state of high alert after a gunman, who is believed to have lived in Dunedin, killed 50 people in two mosques filled with worshippers.

An Air New Zealand staff member on the scene, who was not authorised to speak to the press, told AFP the terminal building had not been evacuated.

Only a handful of flights were due to arrive to the airport in the south-eastern city, as the scare came in the late evening.

According to tracker Flightaware, Air New Zealand flight 691 from Wellington had been circling the city for almost an hour before returning to its destination.