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No knives or scissors on shelves

Knives have been removed from Wairarapa supermarket shelves after Friday’s terror attack. PHOTOS/SOUMYA BHAMIDIPATI

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Wairarapa individuals and businesses have joined others across New Zealand in a show of support for those affected by the Auckland supermarket stabbing last Friday.

On Saturday morning, an unidentified individual visited Countdown in Masterton and placed six individually wrapped flowers in the traffic cones lining the entrance to the supermarket.

Store manager Adam Hall said it had been a pleasant surprise.

“All that we saw was a gentleman putting the flowers there at about 7.30 on Saturday morning,” he said.

“That’s all we know.

“It was a nice gesture. It’s nice to be thought of during times like this.”

The incident in Auckland took place at the Lynnmall branch of the supermarket chain, and Hall said the local team were handling the situation as well as could be expected.

“For the most part pretty good. We all deal with things like this in different ways so it’s being able to support one another and being there to listen and talk if needed.”

On Saturday, Countdown’s general manager of safety Kiri Hannifin said all of the chain’s stores nationwide would temporarily remove knives and scissors from its shelves. It would consider whether to continue to sell them in future.

The move came after a knife-attack by an individual at a supermarket last Friday, during which seven people were injured.

“This is in no way a reflection on our customers, but an act of support for our team. We want all of our team to feel safe when they come to work, especially considering the recent events,” Hannifin said.

“Our team is a family and when one of our stores is hurting, we all are.”

Knives, scissors, and garden shears had been removed when the Times-Age visited the Masterton store after the announcement.

“That was the business decision and we support that,” Hall said.

Other supermarkets, both locally and nationally, had also removed the products from their shelves.

The items were visibly absent from both Pak’nSave and New World supermarkets in Masterton. Moore Wilson’s’ large knives were displayed inside a locked cabinet.

Pakn’Save Masterton owner Andrew Summerville said it was a show of support as well as a safety precaution.

“No one should be going to work and having to worry about that sort of thing. “They [Countdown] are our competitor on a day-to-day basis, but competition is irrelevant when you’re talking about human life.

“Our thoughts go out to all the families affected and all the staff that were in the shop. It’s just an awful time and we hope it never happens again.”

It was undecided at this stage whether the items would be brought back to any of the supermarkets’ shelves in future.

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