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Work and Income staff injured in knife attack

11 February 2005

Work and Income staff injured in knife attack

Two Work and Income employees have received medical treatment after a knife attack at the Hamilton East Work and Income Service Centre this morning.

One staff member was stabbed and received wounds to her neck and shoulders. She remains in hospital and her condition is described as fair. Another staff member has had stitches for cuts received in going to the rescue. No other staff or clients were injured.

A woman has been arrested and is in police custody.

The Hamilton East Service Centre is closed for the rest of the day.

“We are shocked and appalled at this completely unprovoked attack. It appears that the staff member was responding to a request for a Work and Income form, when out of the blue, she was stabbed,” said Liz Jones, General Manager, National Operations, Work and Income.

“Staff were incredibly brave in tackling the offender and wrestling the knife out of her hands. “I cannot speak highly enough of our Hamilton East people in dealing with this bizarre and traumatic attack. I am hugely proud of them.

“Counsellors have already begun working with the staff and they have been sent home to their families. A full security review will be undertaken though there is always a fine balance to be achieved in providing a safe secure environment for our staff that is open and welcoming for our clients. Our main focus continues to be the protection of our people and helping them to get through this appalling incident.

“The frontline staff of Work and Income do an incredible job in providing income and employment services to some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people. I am sure that the thoughts of all New Zealanders will be with our injured colleagues as we wish them a speedy recovery,” said Liz Jones.

ENDS

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