Schools across New Zealand have received bomb threats.

Police said a threatening pre-recorded message of a “concerning nature” had been phoned in to a number of schools.

…The Herald can confirm schools in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Gisborne, Palmerston North, Masterton and Christchurch have received calls.

The Ministry of Education has transferred a senior staff member into police national headquarters to ensure there is a coordinated response to today’s large scale threat.

…Emergency authorities responded, and it is understood some have been asked to help manage the crowds of parents who picked up their children.

…Police believe that today’s calls may be similar to those received earlier this year, which inquiries indicated originated overseas.

“We must take all these calls seriously and respond accordingly,” police said.

…Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and Support Kim Shannon said schools will respond in line with their emergency plans and will take advice from police.

“It’s extremely concerning and disappointing to see schools targeted in this way.

…In February this year hoax bomb threats were made to at least 33 schools around the country.

The calls happened over two days and the police believed they were linked.

…Two Northland schools and more than eight Auckland schools received the threats.

“We are very aware of very similar incidents occurring around the world, in particular the United States, UK and recently Australia,” he said.

In my opinion bomb threats are step one and are used to find weaknesses and to learn how our authorities react. They are also terror tactics as they are an easy way to start putting fear into the hearts of the populace to soften them up for what is to follow. So what can New Zealand expect?