Five houses had to be evacuated in the Greymouth suburb of Cobden following a bomb scare last night.
Police said a resident reported a suspicious object on his front doorstep at 9.45pm.
They said it appeared to have a timer attached to a box with wires disappearing inside it and the area was cordoned off.
An Army Bomb Disposal Team from Christchurch investigated the device and found it did not contain explosives and residents were allowed back into their homes after about four hours.
Inquiries into the incident are continuing.