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Police give all-clear after 'threat' forced Interislander's return to port, evacuation

Passengers on board an Interislander ferry, which was forced to return to dock in Wellington after a threat, have now been cleared to travel on the ship.

Police said they received a report at 9.05am regarding "an item of concern". The ship left Wellington at 9am.

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The nearly 600 people on board had to be evacuated as police examined the ship. Source: 1 NEWS

But police have since confirmed there is no suspicious item on-board and no cause for concern. Cordons in place in the Aotea Quay area around the ferry terminal have been stood down.

"Inquiries are continuing as to the identity of the person who made the threat," police said in a statement.

There were 507 passengers and 84 crew on the ship, KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle earlier told 1 NEWS.

Police are making inquiries at Wellington's port after a threat was made onboard an Interislander ferry. Source: 1 NEWS

A passenger, who wished not to be named, told 1 NEWS about 10 minutes into the journey the ferry turned around and all passengers were asked to go to the top level of the ship due to a security threat.

Once they arrived back at port, all passengers were ordered to abandon ship and were directed to the passenger terminal.

Then all car drivers and truck drivers were separated and asked to hand over their keys so police could search their vehicles.

The passenger said everyone was calm as police made inquiries on board the ferry.

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The ship was forced to return five minutes after departure after a “threat” was reported onboard. Source: 1 NEWS