The University of Waikato went into lockdown this morning as armed police responded to reports of a man walking through the campus with what looked like a samurai sword.
Police were called at around 9.30am after a member of the public reported seeing a man walking through the grounds with a weapon.
"As in the case with all situations police treated the report seriously and responded accordingly, deploying armed staff to the area while also requiring a local primary school to activate their emergency plan and go into lockdown," Senior Sergeant Rupert Friend said.
Emails were also sent out to university students warning them of the ongoing operation on campus.
"We were able to locate a 25-year-old male student who had been wearing a full length black trench coat with a mock samurai sword draped over his back," Friend said.
The sword was actually an umbrella that opens when a button is pushed.
"The man was quite shocked at the response his activities had generated and most apologetic," Friend said. "We are currently working to identify the supplier of these devices and others which include an imitation shotgun."
Buying imitation products like these is not illegal but Friend said owners should use a degree of commonsense when using them.
"In these situations police have to respond as if the threat perceived by the public is real and treat it as such until such time as we receive confirmation to the contrary.
"The member of the public who rang 111 did exactly the right thing and we would far prefer to deploy to an incident and find there is no threat than people think they are wasting police time and not call us and we fail to learn of a genuine incident."