Two Ashburton WINZ staff fatally shot named

Work and Income staff members, Peggy Turuhira Noble and Susan Leigh Cleveland were shot dead at the Ashburton WINZ office yesterday.

Russel John Tully has been charged with their murders and the attempted murder of Lindy Curtis, and appeared in the Christchurch District Court this morning.

The safety of WINZ staff nationwide is the main concern at the moment.

The Ashburton community is still struggling with the shock and confusion from the recent shooting at the town's WINZ office, which saw two staff members dead yesterday.

However, another man was before the court today for pulling a knife on Work and Income staff in Hastings yesterday and just today, the Blenheim Work and Income office was closed down due to death threats.

Edwin Perry has worked in community advocacy roles in the Bay of Plenty and Wairarapa, but more recently for NZ First based in Tauranga.

He says he's been dealing first-hand with the growing unrest of Work and Income clients, with many of them turning to his office out of desperation.

He says there's no excuse for violent actions of any kind, but he's very concerned about the growing state of desperation he's seeing in Work and Income clients.

Perry is challenging the Minister of Social Development and Work and Income to look into the procedures fully.