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Terrorism Events in Hawke's Bay

New Zealand's relative isolation means that the likelihood of a terrorist incident is less likely than other places in the world. However, terrorist incidents such as threats or hoaxes do occur. Terrorist attacks happen without warning and usually happen in public places so keep a watch for suspicious behaviour, vehicles or packages.

To find out more about the hazards where you live, work and play, visit out hazard map portal

Acts of terrorism can result in death, injury, damage to property, infrastructure, and increasingly, computer systems. A large scale terrorism act, such as the introduction of a disease bearing organism could result in an animal pandemic and devastate the New Zealand economy.

Terrorist incidents such as threats or hoaxes do occur and need to be treated as if they are real until the safety of the public is assured and the threat confirmed as false.

Before a terrorist attack

  • Be vigilant. Terrorist attacks usually happen in public places. Keep a watch for suspicious behaviour, vehicles or packages.
  • If you have any fears or suspicions, tell the police.
  • When you’re in buildings and on public transport, make sure you know where the emergency exits are.

During an incident

  • Find the safest way to leave the area. Move as quickly and calmly as you can.
  • If there’s a fire, stay low to the floor and exit as quickly as possible. Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth if you can. If a door is hot to the touch, don’t open it.
  • If there’s an explosion outside a building, stay inside. Keep away from windows, lifts and outside doors in case there’s another bomb nearby.
  • If you saw the explosion or any suspicious behaviour, tell the police.

After an incident

  • Help others with first aid if it’s safe to do so.
  • Tell the police if you saw anything that might be useful.
  • If you’re concerned about a loved one, contact the police.
  • You could be suffering from shock but not realise it. See a doctor as soon as possible.


The risk of a terrorist attack in Hawke's Bay is low. However since the September 2001 attacks in the USA the threat of terrorism internationally has been on the rise.

Find out more

Further information is available from the NZ Police website: New Zealand's response to threats of terrorism.



Fortunately Hawke's Bay has not experienced any significant terrorism events however Civil Defence supported the New Zealand Police in a major law and order event called the Napier Siege on 7 May 2009.


Type of Event: Terrorism
When: 8am on Thursday, 7 May 2009
Where: 41 Chaucer Road, Napier Hill

At 8am on Thursday, 7 May 2009 at 41 Chaucer Road, Napier Hill, Jan Molenaar shot and killed a Napier police officer and seriously injured two others. A civilian was also shot and injured whilst coming to the aid of the police officers who were at the address serving a routine search warrant for cannabis.

Initially it was unknown what type and how many weapons Jan Molenaar had in his possession, and to ensure no further loss of life and secure the safety of the public, the police's main priority was to make the area safe.

This involved:

  • The lockdown of Napier Central School, Napier Girls' High School, Nelson Park School, Sacred Heart College, Port Ahuriri School and Napier Boys' High School.
  • Cordoning off nearly 100 Napier Hill properties, which meant affected residents couldn't return to homes within the cordon (see picture below).
  • The lockdown of residents already in their homes.
  • Setting up a reception centre at the Army Cadet Hall to allow parents to meet up with children from affected schools. School staff escorted children to the hall.

Napier Civil Defence Support

Napier Civil Defence supported the police response by setting up a welfare centre for people who couldn't return to homes within the cordoned-off area of Napier Hill.

From Thursday afternoon on 7 May to midday on Sunday 10 May, Napier Civil Defence:

  • Set up and ran the welfare centre at Napier Intermediate School for people who couldn't get home.
  • Worked with other agencies such as the Salvation Army on catering, Red Cross to supply toiletries and blankets, the Ministry of Social Development for financial assistance and Victim Support.
  • Arranged for accommodation for 210 people with the help and support of local hoteliers.

Napier Civil Defence and Emergency Management volunteers ran the welfare centre 24/7 during the four-day siege. They registered 294 people and collectively worked a total of 484 hours.

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