Dunedin bus hub stabbing: Team cancels rugby match to honor teenage victim

Emergency services have gathered in an area near Dunedin police station after a fight left someone injured.

Police found a knife at the scene of the stabbing at the bus center.
Photo: Things/Hamish McNeilly

Teammates of a teenager murdered in Dunedin this week have canceled a rugby match out of respect for the family.

Trinity Catholic student Enere McLaren-Taana, 16, died after an attack at the Dunedin bus center on Thursday afternoon.

In a Facebook post, Otago Community Rugby manager Warren Kearney said Saturday’s match between the Sassenachs (Otago’s mixed schools combined team) and Dunstan High School had been canceled in a show of respect to the family by McLaren-Taana.

“Otago Rugby’s thoughts and prayers are with Enere Taana-McLaren’s family, friends and teammates.

“With regards to Trinity Catholic College, the Intermediate Otago Combined Sassenachs team will not be playing tomorrow’s match against Dunstan High School.

“In times like these, we must stay united and support each other. Kia kaha.”

Meanwhile, a clinical psychologist said the stabbing attack by a teenager was extremely worrying.

It was the latest in a series of attacks at bus and train stations in recent months.

Police found a knife at the scene and were investigating the circumstances that led to the stabbing.

A 13-year-old boy accused of her murder appeared in Youth Court on Friday.

Umbrella Wellbeing chief executive Dougal Sutherland said the apparent involvement of a gun was shocking and worrying.

Historically, teenagers had fought with their fists and, while this was not tolerable, the use of a weapon was “really, really worrying”, he said.

Violent incidents at bus and train stations involving young people appear to be increasing, he said, but there is no obvious reason for this trend.

However, such incidents rarely occur in isolation, he said.

“There are many contextual implications that need to be taken into account, as well as a (young person’s) level of development.

“Many factors will have combined to produce this truly terrible and tragic outcome.”

Overall, teen crime has decreased over the past decade., but a certain group of teenagers committed more crimes, Dr. Sutherland said.

“For a specific subset of adolescents, those with more pervasive antisocial behavior since childhood, rates have increased as they engage in more delinquent behavior.

“These are likely to be the group that shows up at spikes in crime (such as) ramming attacks, violent behavior at bus stops, etc.”