Staff return for blessing after attack, store closed until further notice

Staff returned to the central Dunedin Countdown today for the first time since Monday's devastating knife attack for a blessing of the premises. 

About 30 to 40 staff members gathered for the building's blessing just after 11am with several police officers also in attendance.

The blessing was done by kaumātua Hata Temo and took about half an hour.

This is the first time they have entered the Cumberland St supermarket, which has been closed since the attack which left four people injured.

In an update this morning, the SDHB said the conditions of the patients remained the same, three were in a serious but stable condition, and one was in a moderate condition.

Countdown spokeswoman Kiri Hannifin said: "This morning, the store has been blessed by a local kaumātua - which we know the whole team is very appreciative of.

"Our focus now is on helping make sure our team’s return to the store is as peaceful and as healing as it can be.

"We’re working on getting the store back in order and we’ll reopen for our local customers when we feel we’re ready to do so.”

Staff attend a blessing at the central Dunedin Countdown today. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Staff attend a blessing at the central Dunedin Countdown today. Photo: Gerard O'Brien

Police confirmed this morning they concluded examining the scene yesterday, which included taking photos, doing blood sampling, and collecting discarded items of interest.

A 42-year-old man appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday where his lawyer confirmed there were no formal mental-health reports sought.

The man, who was of no fixed abode according to court documents, faces four charges of attempted murder.

Counsel John Westgate entered no plea on behalf of his client and asked for name suppression to be granted until the next appearance before the High Court in June.

Judge Peter Rollo granted the order and remanded the man in custody.

The issue of name suppression would be revisited at the next hearing, the court heard.



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