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Update: Operation Middlepark

Detective Inspector Dave de Lange:

Police have now identified more than 40 witnesses who were at the scene of Sunday’s double-homicide in Gisborne.

We know there were about 100 people at this 21st birthday party when the altercation broke out, and we’re undertaking a thorough process to identify others who may be able to help.

There are still many people who were there on the night who will have seen or heard something. If you haven’t spoken to us yet, please get in touch.

You might think you didn’t see anything important, but even small details could be crucial to the investigation.

We’re also aware that videos were taken of the altercation and ask anyone with photos or footage to contact us as soon as possible.

A scene examination at the address is expected to be completed later today.

The bodies of both victims were recovered from the scene last night and post-mortems will be carried out to establish cause of death.

We are working with the pathologist to ensure whānau are reunited with their loved ones as soon as possible.

Police liaison officers are supporting the victims’ whānau and making sure they are part of the process at this incredibly difficult time.

A 29-year-old Gisborne man has appeared in the Gisborne District Court this afternoon on a charge of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He’s been remanded in custody and will reappear in April.

Police continue to have a scaled-down presence at Gisborne Hospital to provide reassurance given the nature of these events. Three people remain in hospital, two are stable and one is in a critical condition.

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Police from across New Zealand are in Gisborne to support this investigation.

This is a very complex investigation, with dozens of witnesses to interview, but everyone involved remains committed to getting answers for the grieving whānau and their community.

Again, if you were at the address on the night, or have information that could assist, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Reassurance patrols in our community are ongoing – we know how difficult these events are for our community and how important it is for them to see us on the streets. We do want to stress that this is not an incident involving rival gang factions.

Nevertheless, Gisborne Police continue to have a highly visible presence across the city, supported by their colleagues from other Districts.

We would also like to thank our partner agencies, including Victim Support and the Council, for their support and assistance.

If you have information, please get in touch with us via 105, by phone or online at 105.police.govt.nz, clicking “Update Report”. Please reference the file number 240324/0768.

Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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