The groundswell of community support in Flaxmere following a brutal death at the weekend is of some comfort.

A poor soul, believed to be well-known locally, was at Sunday's end dealt a violent end.

The rather lovely amenity near the Flaxmere Tavern was quickly descended upon by detectives, forensic experts, security guards and of course, media.

So while police have spent the ensuing few days profiling suspects, Flaxmere itself has undergone another round of public profiling.


Read more: Flaxmere community rallies after homicide
Slain man yet to be formally identified

Clumsy and not-so-clumsy stereotypes were pronounced, reaffirmed and cemented.

Undoubtedly the leafy suburb has seen a disproportionate share of social ills blow in.

As a former court reporter I can attest to it being the site of far too many calamities.

But as a general reporter I also witnessed a unique vibrancy, heart and pride.

On the one hand (according to a former police officer who spend years working there) it boasts the best community spirit of them all. On the other hand it's dysfunctional and brutal in the extreme.

While this week's post-mortem rallying has been heartwarming and very much needed, there's also been a degree of defensiveness from Flaxmere locals protecting a perceived Eden - which yesterday boasted 27 police investigators on the ground.

Worrying about reputation and public perception shouldn't be anywhere near the primary concern.

It's been 10 years since Henare O'Keefe embarked on his "Enough is Enough" hikoi following a violent home invasion in Flaxmere.

I'd think it'd be far more constructive to latch on to that sentiment, where there's a sense of community admission, not denial, to try to figure out why this enigmatic suburb keeps headline writers so busy.