Man in Hastings Winz threat had knife

05:12, Sep 02 2014

Lucky Eriha chose the wrong day to mouth off about Work and Income staff.

The 38-year-old man left the Hastings office yesterday angry about being declined a grant, a court heard.

He was still upset when he told a mate he was going to get his gun and shoot them.

Hours earlier, two people were shot and killed in Ashburton's Work and Income office.

Eriha's mate told Work and Income staff about the threat, at his appointment later that day.

The police were called when Eriha returned to make a complaint at the office. 

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Judge Bridget Mackintosh said Eriha did not make any direct threats, he did not display the knife he was carrying and was not aggressive to staff in any way.

But the alarm had already been raised in what was a heightened climate, Judge Macintosh said.

Police only found the knife Eriha was carrying in his underwear when they searched him at the station.

He was charged with possessing a knife. No charges were laid regarding to the alleged threat because the man who revealed the threat would not make a statement to police.

Eriha entered no plea when he appeared in the Hastings District Court today.Judge MackIntosh was reluctant to grant Eriha bail and was "extremely aware" that Work and Income staff needed to go about their work without threat to their safety.

Police did not deem Eriha a risk to the community and did not oppose bail. Judge Mackintosh said this was a completely different situation than what arose in Ashburton.

She granted Eriha bail until September 16. 

The Dominion Post