New Zealand police on Tuesday arrested a man after finding a package containing a suspected explosive device and ammunition at a vacant address in Christchurch.

The bomb disposal unit rendered the package safe, Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price said in a statement.

Cordons had been put in place in a residential area in the afternoon and fire services and ambulances were in attendance. Houses in the neighbouring streets were evacuated as a precaution.

A 33-year-old man had been arrested and was speaking with police about the incident, the statement said.

“Members of the community are asked to continue to report any concerning behaviour or activity in their neighbourhoods as we all work together to ensure the safety of our community,” Price said.