Police are hunting a killer after a 16-year-old died following a stabbing at an alcohol-fuelled party of around 80 youths at a holiday house in "a quiet cul-de-sac" in Christchurch last night.
Two other victims were also stabbed - one aged just 14 and the other 17 - and are in a serious condition in Christchurch Hospital.
The drama unfolded as a party at a holiday home apparently spiralled out of control around 10pm. The Medbury Tce property in Fendalton can be hired for up to eight people - but scores more turned up.
NZ Police announced this afternoon the deceased 16-year-old was Zion Purukamu, from the suburb of Hoon Hay.
Detective Inspector Scott Anderson said "police extend our sympathies to his whānau, and we are providing them with support alongside Victim Support. A post-mortem has been completed today,"
A woman whose daughter was at the party told the Herald the attack was instigated by a "young boy" who caused a fight after he was turned away from the property.
The mother said she was not entirely sure what had happened to then lead to the stabbing because her daughter was having trouble speaking about the ordeal.
However, she believed some boys milling outside the house were ambushed by others "waiting in the dark".
"The young boys had no idea what was about to happen," the mother said.
Detective Inspector Scott Anderson said police had not arrested anyone but wanted to talk to everyone who was at the party - and he urged them to come forward with information and call 105 quoting "operation Medbury".
Anderson said police know photos and video of the party will be out there to assist their inquiries - and are seeking them.
"Our staff arrived to find three young men aged 17, 16 and 14 with serious stab wounds. They were taken to Christchurch Hospital where the 16-year-old has sadly died. Two others are in a serious but stable condition," Anderson said.
"It is believed there were in excess of 80 people at the party, and they were predominantly young people.
"At this time we have not made any arrests and a post-mortem is currently being undertaken."
Anderson said it was too early in the investigation to tell what prompted the attack and what weapons were used.
Anderson said police are supporting the families of the victims, who are all from the Christchurch area.
"This is a very small and generally quiet street. We want to acknowledge this incident is extremely distressing for the residents," Anderson said.
A scene examination is ongoing at the scene in the quiet street.
Anderson appealed for anyone with CCTV footage to come forward. He said alcohol was involved in the incident.
"It's still to be determined what weapons were used in this stabbing," Anderson said.
He confirmed the property where the stabbing occurred was a holiday home that had been rented. Police had talked to the person who made the booking but had not yet been able to speak to the two teen victims in hospital.
"Their health's more important at the moment than us talking to them," Anderson said.
The property in a wealthy suburb of Christchurch was rented through Airbnb but managed by the Christchurch Holiday Homes company.
Christchurch Holiday Homes director Susan Harrison said the incident at Medbury Tce "is our worst nightmare".
"We do everything we can, we don't take it casually, we don't rent to people we think might have gatherings or parties," Harrison said.
"It's strictly forbidden in all of our rules. We quizzes this person and they confirmed they were only having two guests and our rules strictly say only booked guests after 10pm.
Harrison said the guests who booked the house with the party did so through Airbnb - which is where the address information of the renters is held, and the money transaction occurs.
"We can't see where the guest has come from. This is very much a borders closed situation. Prior to covid we had international guests that would book our homes and local people could stay but they'd have to book a long time ahead and it was harder to get in. International guests you just don't get these situations.
It's understood there were a lot of people on the street being turned away from the party when the stabbing occurred.
Residents in Medbury Tce did not report excessive noise leading up to the attack.
"It really wasn't a loud noisy horrendous party but at 10pm something escalated," Harrison said.
Medbury Tce resident Daryl Gregory said he didn't hear any of the commotion at a rental two doors down from him last night but was woken twice in the night by police and ambulance sirens.
"We went to bed so early last night and I remember hearing all these sirens, and I thought cops must be chasing people up and down Fendalton Rd," Gregory said.
"I must have dozed off and woke up again and heard more sirens and I thought 'that's an ambulance' and I was woken up by someone knocking on our door.
"So a young cop came to the door and said there's been a major incident down on the street and wanted my name and details and said we might not be able to get out of the street tomorrow because of an investigation, but he didn't tell me what."
Gregory said police tape cordoned off several houses along the street.
"We've got tape over our drive so we can't get out. Tents and signs and all little things all marking up and down the road," he said.
The Medbury Tce resident said there is often noise from teenagers at night in Fendalton Park, which the street backed on to.
A Herald reporter at the scene after 11pm last night said there had been around 20–30 teenagers in groups along Clyde Rd.
They were being spoken to and calmed by police, who were there alongside a fire truck and ambulance.
A witness told the Herald reporter her brother had been stabbed in the back, and had been taken away in an ambulance.
A woman who turned up at the scene also told the reporter "it's not looking good".
Medbury Tce resident Margaret Harper was woken last night to the disturbance.
"I was asleep when a neighbour called me to ask if I was all right, and they said 'something terrible's happened in the street', she said.
She had lived on Medbury Tce for 30 years and said nothing like this had ever happened.
"There's not even any children on the street, or young families - it's just quiet older people.
"These things do happen, but they just don't happen on our street."
She said the street's residents had pulled together following the tragedy, calling and messaging to check in on one another.
Another neighbour told the Herald the incident had caused "quite a disturbance" on their normally quiet street, and police had not allowed them to leave their houses.
They said Medbury Tce was a cul-de-sac with only eight or 10 houses.
Fendalton is one of Christchurch's wealthiest suburbs with median house prices well over $1.2 million.
The Medbury Tce home where the incident is believed to have occurred is also listed on Airbnb.
On Saturday morning there were two police at either end of the cordon in place on the street.
There was also a Toyota Corolla car underneath the Specialist Police Group search tent, and an address separately taped off.
A witness said there were also empty alcohol cans on the road.
Police are conducting a homicide investigation, including a scene examination, "to determine what occurred and who is responsible".
"We are aware there were a large number of people on Medbury Tce during the course of the evening," Ford said.
"We are appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time, and can assist with our inquiries, to come forward and speak to us."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch Police on 105 and quote event number P047534409. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.