The triple shooting in Ashburton yesterday could result in
the Ministry of Social Development taking a hard look at
security protocols on all of its sites.
The ministry had rallied around its staff, with chief
executive Brendan Boyle in Ashburton last night to offer
support, a spokesman said.
Counselling was available for staff. Other staff around New
Zealand had also been ''advised of relevant employee
Mr Boyle said ministry offices in Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru,
Christchurch, Balclutha and Alexandra were closed following
The Dunedin offices were open for emergency appointments.
Anyone needing help in regions with closed offices could call
the contact centre on 0800 559 009.
In Ashburton, the Jenny McDonald secondary school hockey
tournament was shut down until further notice.
Pupils from two Oamaru teams, St Kevin's College and Waitaki
Girls' High School, were taken to their accommodation after
the Ashburton Domain turf was evacuated, Mandy Farrell, of
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said yesterday was
an ''incredibly sad day'' which had devastated families,
friends and co-workers and rocked the country.
Additional reporting by The New Zealand Herald