A police investigation has condemned the actions of an officer who left a loaded pistol in a Parliament bathroom in June last year.
It was discovered by a member of the public more than an hour later. Moments after they found it another officer returned to recover the firearm.
It was a Protection Services staff member who left the Glock pistol in the bathroom, later realising it was missing while en route to Wellington Airport.
He immediately asked a colleague who was with him to return to Parliament to get it. They recovered the Glock pistol about an hour and 25 minutes after the officer realised it was missing.
Police Assistant Commissioner Mike Rusbatch said the serious incident had been thoroughly investigated.
"Our staff are human and we accept that the firearm being left in the bathroom was a genuine mistake," he said.
"However, the loss should have been dealt with differently once it was discovered, to minimise the risk to the public."
Police said in a statement that the investigation found there was no intention to leave the firearm in the bathroom.
They said the incident has been dealt with "by way of an employment process with the individual and the second police officer, the details of which remain confidential between them and police."
"This incident was without precedent and I am confident that lessons have been learned regarding application of our operational risk assessment model, and our expectations of staff," Mr Rusbatch said.
Both officers involved in the incident still work for Protection Services.