NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

The New Zealand community was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of a violent knife attack that took place on 3rd September in a Countdown store at Lynnmall, Auckland. The incident left seven people injured and the attacker was shot dead by police.

Countdown Lynnmall was closed until further notice. The attack came during Auckland’s Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown due the Delta outbreak.

At a press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the incident at the New Lynn Countdown supermarket was a terrorist attack carried out by a violent extremist. She said the terrorist was motivated by “violent ideology and ISIS-inspired”.

Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Safety said: “Our thoughts are with those who were injured and their families, and we will be supporting all of our Lynnmall team.

“Over the last few weeks especially, Kiwis have shown our team such gratitude and kindness and we are particularly devastated that something like this has happened again in one of our stores. It’s difficult to comprehend and the events of today leave our whole team in deep shock.

“The safety of our team, and our customers, is always our priority, and this is at the heart of our COVID-19 response as well. We will cooperate with the Police in any way we can to understand what’s happened. Any further questions or requests for details should be directed to the NZ Police.”

All Countdown stores remained closed on Saturday morning until 10am and Hannifin explained: “This morning many of our teams throughout Aotearoa have taken some time to get together to talk, share a physically distanced cup of tea, and support each other following yesterday’s event in our Lynnmall store. Our team is a family and when one of our stores is hurting, we all are. We’re very grateful to our customers who have supported our decision to open a little later, and for all the messages of support we have received last night and today.

“We would also like to thank the emergency services for their support of our customers and team yesterday.

“We made the decision to temporarily remove all knives and scissors from our shelves while we consider whether we should continue to sell them. This is in no way a reflection on our customers, but an act of support for our team. We want all of our team to feel safe when they come to work, especially considering the events of yesterday.”

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