Transport officials say they were justified in keeping a central Wellington tunnel closed for 45 minutes this morning after a man was caught defecating inside it.
Police say the man jumped from the walkway of the Mount Victoria Tunnel just before 6am and defecated on the road.
The tunnel had been closed overnight for maintenance.
The New Zealand Transport Agency team doing the maintenance work had just left and the agency had to call its cleanup staff.
An NZTA spokesman said the poo was a health hazard and had to be dealt with in the proper way. If a tyre had run over it, the mess would have been far worse, he said.
The spokesman said there was no significant impact on traffic because it was so early in the morning and the tunnel reopened at 6.45am.
Police said the man was drunk and was taken home without any apparent injuries.