Trinity Catholic College pupil’s death – a tragedy

Trinity Catholic College

Trinity Catholic College pupil Enere McLaren-Taana, 16, died in hospital after being stabbed last Thursday.

The assault followed “an altercation between the victim and offender” at a city bus hub.

Police recovered a knife from the scene.

Loss and sorrow

Many people are hurting. Prayers have been said. Support offered.

Manawhenua held a blessing at the hub on Friday. Many attended with flowers and tributes.

Trinity Catholic College principal Kate Nicholson says the school’s hearts “go out to McLaren-Taana’s whānau who are going through this terrible loss”.

She spoke of the school’s devastating sorrow. McLaren-Taana was so young, full of energy and promise.

“We are a strong, united school community and we will wrap our love, care and support around those in our college who need it at this time.”

McLaren-Taana was also a former King’s High School pupil. Like Trinity Catholic College, the school community met his death with shock, sadness and devastation.

The popular sportsman’s teammates called off their high school rugby game on Saturday in his memory.

Dunedin’s mayor called for a “community-wide” response.

Jules Radich says he wants key parties – police, schools, the council and bus operators to work together on a “wider community response” to safety at the hub and the public transport network.

Murder charge

McLaren-Taana’s alleged killer is only 13. He’s has appeared in the Youth Court, charged with murder.

The judge remanded him until June 11 to appear in the High Court for bail proceedings.

Police won’t say if he and McLaren-Taana knew each other.

Investigators are still trying to determine what led to the attack, says Otago Coastal Area Commander Inspector Marty Gray.

Violence normal

McLaren-Taana’s murder occurred about 50 metres from the Dunedin Central Police Station.

An unnamed pupil told reporters that violence at the bus hub after school is a normal occurrence. He says he recently witnessed a pre-arranged fight at the hub.

“It’s not the best place to be. There’s always people threatening each other and fighting each other.”

There is rising concern about violence in the area. Dunedin Student Council presidents Rohan O’Shea and Alice Johnston commented – “The safety of the bus hub has long been an issue we have raised with NZ Police and local government, without substantive measures taken – we need action now” they say.

Gray is aware antisocial behaviour is an issue at the bus hub. “And our staff have been working closely with Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council, the Education Department, iwi and other partners to suppress some of that activity.”

He said extra CCTV cameras have been installed in the area.


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