24 May 2024

Dunedin stabbing victim named as Enere McLaren-Taana

3:53 pm on 24 May 2024
Enere Mclaren-Taana

Enere McLaren-Taana is the player with his face turned towards the camera. Photo: Facebook

Friends and family are paying tribute to Enere McLaren-Taana, who died following a stabbing in central Dunedin yesterday.

Emergency services were called to the Dunedin Bus Hub in Great King Street shortly after 3pm on Thursday following reports of an altercation.

McLaren-Taana was rushed to Dunedin Hospital where he died later from his injuries.

The 16-year-old went to Trinity Catholic College.

"We are devastated that a young life so full of energy and promise has ended in such a senseless and horrific way, and our hearts go out to his whānau," the school's principal Kate Nicholson said.

Enere previously attended King's High School.

"Our deepest thoughts and our aroha go out to his family and those close to him at this sad and difficult time," acting rector Darin Smith said.

"Our focus has been on providing our students, our staff and our community with both our love and support, and this will continue as we continue to process the events which took place yesterday."

Enere Mclaren-Taana

Enere Taana-McLaren at an athletics event in Christchurch while he was a student at King's. Photo: Facebook screenshot

Otago Rugby League also paid tribute to the talented sportsman.

"Our community has been rocked with the news of the passing of one of our beautiful young men. All the aroha to Enere's whānau in this impossibly difficult time.

"To any players feeling it today, please reach out to each other, your whānau, your ORL [Otago Rugby League] team manager. RIL Enere," the organisation posted to social media.

"He was a wonderful young man," a family friend said.

Police said the investigation into McLaren-Taana's death was still in its early stages.

A 13-year-old boy was taken into custody following the altercation and appeared in the Youth Court this morning charged with murder.

The case has been transferred to the Dunedin High Court for a first appearance on 11 June.

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