Armed police train in red zone
Boys, toys and noise was the order of the day in Christchurch's residential red zone yesterday.
This time it was a to-be-demolished house providing the setting for armed police to test their tactics - and blow up the front door.
It was day two of a week-long Special Tactics Group training course involving 10 New Zealand police and four from Australia.
The scenario centred on a domestic dispute turned hostage situation in Melody Pl, Burwood - something that would occur in Canterbury about only once or twice a year, Special Tactics Group commander, Inspector Steve Mather said.
"Historically we've trained in very old government buildings in the middle of nowhere - old psychiatric hospitals, old prisons. There was no resemblance to modern construction that we'd be operating in in reality," Mather said.
"The biggest training budget in the world could not replicate the sorts of buildings we have here [in the residential red zone]."
Mather said about 10 properties were still occupied in the surrounding streets, and police had forewarned each household.
"Everyone in Christchurch should know about it."