Police Remembrance Day Service
Royal New Zealand Police College
Tēnā koutou katoa
A very warm welcome to family and friends who have travelled here today to remember their loved ones;
Police Commissioner Mike Bush, members of the Police Executive, the Royal New Zealand Police College, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
My home town is Napier.
I remember clearly when Senior Constable Lee Snee died in the line of duty. The outpouring of public grief for a man who epitomised police values reminded us all of the love and respect our communities have for officers, as individuals and as part of the wider Police family. It was a stark reminder of the dangers our officers face every day when carrying out their duties.
It is an honour to be here today as we join together to remember members of the Police whānau who are no longer with us.
We remember Police officers who died in the line of duty and celebrate their legacy, which lives on in each and every person who wears the blue uniform.
We also remember serving, former and retired members of Police who have passed away in the past year, and their contribution to keeping New Zealand safe.
As with any memorial service, this occasion will be inevitably sad for many of you. No matter how much time goes by, the grief of losing a loved one, friend or colleague never goes away.
As your Police family we share your grief and are here to ensure their courage, sacrifice, and contribution is never forgotten.
The people we remember today have left a great legacy and I commend New Zealand Police for the significant effort that has gone into ensuring those who have given their lives are honoured in the appropriate way.
Today is one of the most important days of the year for Police, but it is also a time for all New Zealanders to reflect on how lucky we are in this country to be served by such a professional and courageous police service.
Although New Zealand police are better resourced, better trained and better equipped than ever before, it is impossible to completely remove the dangers and unpredictability of the work they do.
Behind each of the names read out today is a story that reminds us of the reality Police face every day.
Being a Police officer is more than just a job. It is a commitment to putting the safety of others before their own.
As we remember our fallen officers I think it is important to again acknowledge, and thank, their families.
It's not an easy role and it asks a lot of you. To see someone you love – your wife, your husband, father, mother or child – step into the role means knowing there will always be an element of risk in their professional life.
The great work New Zealand Police do would not be possible without your support and I hope you can take some comfort from the love and respect on show here today.
On behalf of the Government I would like to thank all members of Police for your commitment and service, and I wish you all the very best as you continue to keep New Zealand communities safe.