A small Northland community is reeling tonight after two people were found dead in a home in Ruakākā.
A homicide investigation has been launched by police, who have not yet released details of the people who died, including their age.
Residents told RNZ they were two children, both under the age of five.
Ella, who lived next door to the house which was now a crime scene, said police arrived at about 7am.
She was still in the dark about what exactly had happened.
“We’re devastated, they’re little kiddies, they were just little kiddies,” she said.
“I don’t know what’s happened, but whatever’s happened is horrific.
“We’re not the flashest area but we’re a really cool community, we look out for each other and we love it here, it’s a really beautiful place to live and this is gonna devastate everyone – especially the kids.”
The neighbourhood kids all played at the playground and skatepark down the road, she said.
“They all look out for each other, this is awful, it’s really awful.”
The children were lovely, she said.
The small town of Ruakākā has close to 3000 residents.
In the town centre, residents spoke of their shock and sadness.
One woman with preschoolers of her own said she was in tears when hearing the news.
Another said it was as if the town was in grief.
A local kaumatua said there would be a karakia for the family tonight.
Earlier today, Detective Inspector Bridget Doell said police were speaking with a person as part of the investigation, but wanted to hear from anyone in the area at the time of the incident.
“We will continue to support the Ruakākā community through this understandably distressing time. While we appreciate the wider interest in what has occurred, Police aren’t in a position to release any further details at this stage.
“There will be an increased Police presence in the area, and we will provide further updates as our investigation progresses. We continue to encourage the Northland community to look out for one another, and if anyone requires further assistance there are a number of support agencies available.”