The shooting, which has left a third person injured, happened in the town of Ashburton, southwest of Christchurch, Canterbury District Police said.

A manhunt is underway.

“Police confirm that a male entered the Ashburton WINZ office this morning and has discharged a firearm,” police said.

“As a result two people are deceased and a third person is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

“This is an ongoing situation and a full police response has been deployed.”

Police urged the suspect, who they named as John Henry Tully, 48, to turn himself in.

“Mr Tully is a person of interest to Police and staff are still working to locate him.

“Any sightings should be reported immediately to Police via 111. He should not be approached.”

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