A package of chess pieces destined for a prisoner in Manawatu Prison held much more than pawns, knights and bishops when it was scrutinised.
Corrections staff and a detector dog found a cannabis leaf and oil in a package of chess pieces on Wednesday morning.
"Today's drug find was great work by staff and the detector dog, who found the drugs before they got into the hands of prisoners," says Prison Director Mark Cookson.
"Prisoner mail and incoming property are regularly searched.
"The detector dog gave a clear indication on this particular item - when it was opened, it became clear that the chess pieces had been tampered with.
"In total the package contained 12.53 grams of cannabis leaf and 12.25 grams of oil."
Contraband in prison includes tobacco, alcohol, communication devices, drugs, drug paraphernalia, tattoo equipment and weapons.
A range of methods are used at prisons across New Zealand to prevent drugs, weapons and cellphones from entering, Mr Cookson said.
They include 24 detector dog teams, X-ray technology, telephone monitoring of prisoners' calls and single points of entry to sites.