The Palms mall in Christchurch has been reopened after shoppers were evacuated due to an unspecified incident.
Emergency services were called to the mall after a threat was received.
The mall was evacuated as a precaution to ensure public safety, Inspector Hirone Waretini says.
A police media spokeswoman earlier said police could not comment on the nature of the incident but they were not actively seeking an offender.
A witness at the scene, Denise, told The Breeze on Thursday morning the situation was "unbelievable".
"There are hundreds of people out on the streets.
"All the entrances are blocked off, I'm not sure what's happening."
Enquiries into the incident are continuing.