Countdown investigating after video shows security guard punching homeless man

Countdown is investigating after video surfaced online of a security guard beating a homeless man outside its store.

The video, sent to Newshub by Peter King, shows a security guard punching the man and throwing him to ground in front of members of the public. 

In the footage the guard is standing over the man who is lying down outside Wellington's Cable Car Lane Countdown.

The two men speak for about ten seconds before the homeless man stands and attempts to hit the guard. 

In response, the guard grabs him around the throat, pushes him into the wall and then slams him to the ground, pinning him there.

While he has the homeless man pinned, the guard punches him in the head three times before wrenching him into the middle of the footpath and holding him down by the neck. 

The guard then gets up and walks away, leaving the man in the middle of the pavement.

Countdown says it is aware of the incident and is "very distressed" by it. 

"While we do experience issues with people sitting outside our stores sometimes it's our absolute expectation that people are treated with dignity and respect," a spokesperson told Newshub. 

It says the issue will be investigated by its contracted security company. 

Allied Security, the company which hired the guard, could not be reached for comment.