A 52-year-old man has been charged with murder after an alleged double stabbing in Christchurch last night.

The accused has also been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The accused man is in Christchurch Hospital in a serious condition.

Two people were allegedly stabbed in the incident. Police confirmed a 28-year-old woman died. Another man, 31, remains in Christchurch Hospital in a serious condition.

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Police arrived at the scene shortly before 7.50pm.

The deceased woman and a man had allegedly been stabbed by a second man.

That man had then allegedly turned the knife on himself.

Ilam resident Tony Rotherham said he heard a commotion outside of his house on Rudleigh Ave about 20 minutes before the incident as he was watching television.

"I had heard a profound amount of yelling for roughly 10 minutes before the incident had supposedly happened but I thought it was no more unusual than what we hear from drunk people on a regular Saturday night.

"After hearing the sirens I went outside to check if everything was okay. That's when I was informed by an officer that a domestic disturbance had occurred."

It wasn't until later he read about the "unsettling incident".

He said it has sounded like yelling at first but only after learning what had actually
happened did it occur to him it "sounded different than you would typically expect".

It was something he did not expect in a community like Ilam

The incident unfolded near the Ilam Seventh-day Adventist Church, he said.

Detective senior sergeant Scott Anderson said although the investigation was still in its early days, those involved were known to each other and police were not seeking anyone else.

The incident occurred on Ilam Rd and the area will remain cordoned off until further notice.

Five stabbings in three separate incidents were reported to police across New Zealand last night.

A person died after being stabbed in the Far North shortly before 9pm.

Police arrived at the Moerewa address at 8.45pm to find the stabbing victim with a critical injury. The person died at the scene shortly after.

A man in his early 40s is also in a critical condition at Hawkes Bay Hospital after a stabbing incident last night.

A Hawkes Bay District Health Board spokeswoman said the man was in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit and was critical.

"He's in his early 40s."

A police spokeswoman said the man presented at Napier medical centre on Wellesley Rd at about 10pm last night.

"He was rushed to Hawkes Bay Hospital in an ambulance in a serious condition."

Police are making inquiries.