Auckland shooting: Concerns about level of counselling for workers affected by fatal incident

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Police say all 70 people it spoke to as part of its investigations into the shooting have been told about victim support. Photo / Jason Oxenham


A mental health advocate is concerned whether workers affected by the Auckland shooting nine days ago are getting sufficient counselling support.

There were 347 people at the No 1 Queen St construction site at the time of the shooting, during which two workers were killed and the gunman, Matu Tangi Matua Reid, also died from a self-inflicted injury.

At least eight others were injured, including a police officer.


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RNZ understands many on site were migrant workers from the Asian and Pacific communities.

Construction workers together at the top of the Deloitte building in Auckland's CBD during the shooting. Photo / Hayden Woodward
Construction workers together at the top of the Deloitte building in Auckland’s CBD during the shooting. Photo / Hayden Woodward

Kelly Feng from Asian Family Services said there was low awareness among migrant workers about employee assistance program (EAP) services and she was concerned whether they were being supported.

“Most often, migrant workers don’t really know EAP even exists and they’re not familiar with counselling and getting that free and confidential support.”

Companies should be offering their workers at least three counselling sessions and longer-term support, Feng said.


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The police say all the 70 people it spoke to as part of its investigations have been told about victim support but it is unsure how many have asked for help.

The site’s main contractor LT McGuinness said some workers had returned to work in the past few days in preparation for reopening next week.

WorkSafe said it was gathering information about the shooting but its inquiries did not amount to an investigation yet.

It was encouraging businesses to provide mental health support to staff who were exposed to the traumatic event.

Last week, suicide prevention group Mates in Construction said it was “actively engaged to support impacted people throughout the industry”.

Mates said it was “developing a plan to ensure there is a comprehensive process in place for the weeks ahead and intends to maintain a strong supportive presence on site” when workers returned.

“It is important that workers know there is someone to turn to if they need help and know how to look after their mates on site who may be experiencing difficulties.

“Mates help mates and that is a priority for us during this sad time.”

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