Timaru triple-homicide accused Lauren Dickason to appear in court

The woman accused of killing three young children in Timaru on Thursday night is Lauren Dickason, their mother. 

The 40-year-old is expected to appear in Timaru District Court on Saturday morning, charged with the murders of two-year-old twin daughters Maya and Karla, and sister Liane, six (police on Friday said they were aged three and seven), Stuff reported.

The children were reportedly found dead on Thursday night by their father Graham Dickason, an orthopedic surgeon. It's believed he was the one neighbours told Newshub was "moaning and making lots of noise", and shouting, "Is this really happening"

The family had only recently arrived in New Zealand from South Africa, and had been in Timaru for just a week after exiting MIQ. 

Dickason was taken to hospital for treatment, and is reportedly in a stable condition. 

Stuff reports a brief name suppression order was put in place on Friday, but lifted that evening. 

Police said on Friday afternoon they weren't seeking anyone else in relation to the tragedy, which came just weeks after five teenagers were killed in a car crash in the Canterbury town. 

Police in Friday night declined to confirm the names of the victims or the alleged killer, saying it could take "days" rather than hours to inform next-of-kin and confirm their identities via the coronial process.

"We are still working to inform all appropriate next of kin, who don't reside in New Zealand, about the deaths," police told Newshub. "There's nothing stopping media naming them but it's not something police formally do before informing appropriate next of kin."

District commander Supt John Price said locals - including police officers - had seen "a lot of death" recently.

"My message to the people of Timaru is you live in a fantastic, safe place... we want to provide our reassurance that we are doing everything we can as police and with the wider partner agencies to ensure that Timaru will be safe and feel safe."

The town's Mayor, Nigel Bowen, told Newshub locals were already struggling after the fatal crash in August which left five teenagers dead, and the COVID-19 lockdown. 

"The young boys who passed earlier in the year, that was just absolutely devastating for us. I think the last funeral was just the day before everyone went into lockdown... now to have something like this, you can't say that it won't have an effect on the community. It's going to be really tough.

"It will have a ripple effect on families and friends who knew these victims and their families. It's going to be really tough in the times ahead. Bad luck comes in threes I believe, so hopefully that's it and we're good moving forward."