Council pauses to reflect on bus hub tragedy

The shock death of a pupil at Dunedin's bus hub has been acknowledged at the city council. 

A minute's silence was held for Enere McLaren-Taana, 16, a waiata and prayers offered and grace called for at the start of the Dunedin City Council meeting this morning. 

Presenting the meeting's opening prayer, Tongan Methodist Church representative Sailosi Pole asked for God's peace to be on the family.

"Help us, Lord, to find peace in the midst of chaos... tranquility in the face of adversity."

Mr Pole said it was a struggle to find answers to difficult questions and he called for empathy and for conflicts to be resolved with grace.

Enere died from a stab wound later in Dunedin Hospital. 

A youth has been charged with murder.

Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich said the attack happened in a highly public place and ripples had spread widely.

"This is a grave tragedy for our community," he said.

Mr Radich said it was a time of great sadness and the council was working hard with the Otago Regional Council and police to improve safety.

He characterised this as both structural and social.

"It is the least we can do in memory of Enere," Mr Radich said.

Cr Marie Laufiso led a waiata, calling on people to stand together.

A packed public gallery - many of the people in attendance primarily to support calls for Palestinian special visas to help people leave Gaza - joined in.

There was then a moment's silence.

A series of speakers in the public forum part of the meeting have talked about the Gaza issue, describing devastation there.