Police have launched a homicide inquiry after searching a car in the suburb of Woolston.
Police swarmed the Woolston New World supermarket this afternoon and were examining a white car parked there. A forensic team is also at the scene.
Detective Senior Sergeant Sweeney said a homicide investigation had been launched, and that police would be able to comment further later tonight.
The supermarket was closed and the scene roped off.
New World management refused to comment on the incident.
However, a New World staff member was heard telling the concerned parent of a supermarket worker she was "calling parents at the moment".
Another New World staff member, who did not want to be named, said no one knew what was going on.
"We just got told that we had to go home, and the cops were around.
"[The manager] just said obviously it's a crime scene, and that's it."
Other staff members were still inside the building.
Officers obscured the car with a tarpaulin for some time.
A 49-year old resident, who did not want to be named, said he'd seen police opening the boot and taking photographs.
"They opened it, a photographer took a couple of photos and they shut the boot."
A police officer had told residents in the area "quite a serious thing has happened here, show a little bit of respect".
The man's flatmate believed the car had been parked in the carpark since Wednesday.
- Fairfax Media
Which memorial design do you like most?Related story: Christchurch earthquake memorial designs unveiled
• Newsroom 03-943 2827 or email email@example.com
• Classified Ads: 03-3778778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Display and Online Ads: 03-3648285 or email email@example.com
• General inquiries: 03 379 0940
• Subscribe to The Press
• Deliveries, subscriptions, holiday stop/starts: 03 364 8464, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• No paper or holiday stop/starts: action online
• Buy a photo
• Newspaper subscribers - register for the digital edition
• Make press.co.nz your homepage
Read Press extras for Avenues, fashion, home design and weddings
Births, weddings, engagements
Death notices and in memoriam