Ammunition falls out of Defence vehicle
Rifle ammunition was dropped on to a public road when the doors of a New Zealand Defence Force vehicle "opened unexpectedly".
Defence confirmed the incident after an inquiry from the North Shore Times.
Two containers of 5.56mm ammunition were dropped from the vehicle which was travelling on Birkenhead's Mokoia Rd around 9.20am on October 18.
It was en route from the Kauri Pt ammunition depot to Whenuapai.
Commuter Matt Elliott says traffic was moving slowly in the area because of the incident.
"Two men in blue overalls were lifting back into the rear of the van several car battery-sized green metal containers that also bore orange hazard labels."
Mr Elliott says it is interesting the incident occurred in MP Jonathan Coleman's Northcote electorate.
Mr Coleman, also Minister of Defence, says it should not have happened.
Defence has transported ammunitions for years without incident "but that's not an excuse", he says.
He says it is concerning it happened but has reassurances there was no risk to the public.
The New Zealand Defence Force says the vehicle "was fully authorised and marked in accordance with its load and the two people were authorised explosives handlers".
"The ammunition was contained within robust and sealed purpose-built containers and sustained no damage.
"The potential for risk to the public would have been small as even a hard impact would be insufficient to cause a reaction."
The Defence Force says it has "robust procedures" for transportation of ammunitions which comply with New Zealand law. A review of procedures will be carried out.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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