White powder sent to PM

01:43, Jan 31 2009
WHITE OUT THE DOOR: Four Beehive staff were decontaminated yesterday after white powder was delivered to Prime Minister Helen Clark's eighth-floor office.

Four Beehive staff were decontaminated after white powder was delivered to Prime Minister Helen Clark's eighth-floor office.

But the timing of the delivery failed to have maximum impact, as Parliament was in recess and Miss Clark was out of her office.

Emergency services went to the Beehive yesterday morning after a member of Miss Clark's staff opened the package. A spokesman said three of her office staff and one security guard in the room at the time were examined. Half of the eighth floor was evacuated and decontaminated.

The spokesman said the staff had suffered no ill-effects and there were no concerns for their health. He would not confirm whether the package was addressed to Miss Clark or if it had a message.

Inspector Simon Perry, the Wellington police emergency response manager, said the package was being examined by ESR.

Meanwhile, police are still investigating the source of at least 16 suspicious letters thought to contain 1080 poison and sent to local authorities, central government and private businesses in Wellington and other centres.

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