The horror shooting on a construction site in Auckland, New Zealand comes as fans and teams are preparing for the opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Thursday evening.

The first match kicks off at New Zealand’s national stadium, Eden Park, in central Auckland, between New Zealand and Norway.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the tournament would go ahead as there was no national security risk, but there would be an increased police presence.

Sport Minister Grant Robertson said there was one team in a hotel “immediately around the corner” from the shooting on Queen Street but as it was in downtown Auckland “pretty much all the hotels have people associated with the tournament”.

The team around the corner was later revealed as Norway.

“There are number of teams … who were staying in the immediate area. They are all safe and sound,” Mr Robertson said.

“As the cordon moves in they will go about their normal business of today for them; some of them, that involves playing this evening, for others that involves moving to other locations in New Zealand to play their games.

“So they will in the course of the next few hours do what they were always going to do, go to training, go to play and so on.”

Mr Robertson said the fan zone, due to open at noon, was in the cordon and it would be up to police to what time it would open.

According to local news outlet Stuff, Norway was the team staying right around the corner at the hotel M Social.

Norway’s team captain Maren Mjelde said they heard police arrive but did not know what was going on until they saw it in the media.

“Everyone probably woke up quite quickly when the helicopter hovered outside the hotel window and a large number of emergency vehicles arrived,” she said in a statement.

“At first we didn’t know what was going on, but eventually there were updates on TV and the local media.

“We felt safe the whole time. FIFA has a good security system at the hotel, and we have our own security officer in the squad.

”Everyone seems calm and we are preparing as normal for the game tonight. Then we may have to adapt if there are any instructions from the authorities.”

New Zealand Football said it was shocked by the incident and confirmed the Football Ferns team and staff were safe.

“Preparations for the game tonight at Eden Park will continue as planned,” it said.

Mr Hipkins said his message to visitors to Auckland were that “the risk has been contained” and there would be active police presence to provide reassurance.

“We are excited about hosting the FIFA World Cup,” he said. “Obviously this has been a very grim morning for us but we are committed to hosting the tournament. There is no ongoing risk here.”

Three people are dead, including the gunman, and six injured.

Gun shots were heard just after 7.20am (5.20am AEST), police said.


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By Rahul

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