Whanganui stabbing: Witnesses describe horrific scene

The scene this morning after the stabbings yesterday. - Photo: RNZ / Leigh-Marama McLachlan

It's a calm and eerie morning in Whanganui after multiple people were stabbed on Tuesday.

One person is dead and five others are in hospital and police have launched a homicide investigation following Tuesday's incident.

A security guard and a police officer are now guarding an old white house on the corner of Wicksteed and Liverpool Streets. The area has been cordoned off.

Late last night police confirmed that one person died there after the stabbing incident. The body is still believed to be in the house.

The incident, however, was not isolated to the house. Yesterday, there were two makeshift cordons set up across the road at a New World carpark and an area was splattered with blood. It's been cleaned up and cars are now parked there.

All five injured have been taken to Whanganui Hospital and are in a moderate to serious condition.

Detective inspector Paul Baskett said one person had been taken into custody immediately after the incident and police were not looking for anyone else.

Police were not yet in a position to release the name of the deceased, he said.

Multiple police cars arrived at Wicksteed Street at about 4.15pm after reports of the stabbings. Blood splatters were also seen in the carpark of a New World supermarket, about a block away in Victoria St.

Horrified shoppers saw a woman with several stab wounds collapse on the ground.

Eye witness Hayley Curtis said the whole incident was "pretty full on" to see.

"We were just heading to the supermarket and a lady approached mine and several other cars after running out on Wicksteed Street (opposite the New World carpark) with a male almost calmly walking behind her in ripped clothes with a knife," Ms Curtis told RNZ.

"She screamed for help and yelled that he had a knife and was stabbing people. She was stabbed several times and covered in blood. Several others in different directions also appeared to be injured.

"One man was holding his neck which was bleeding and another lady was in the New World carpark also bleeding from her head.

"We called the police and they were quick to show and the offender seemed to cooperate dropping to the ground when they arrived. The lady that was screaming to help had now collapsed but ambos were starting to arrive. The offender was still outside the house in cuffs when I left with police around."