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Recipients of the New Zealand Bravery Star

The New Zealand Bravery Star (NZBS) obverse view

Constable Michael John BURNE, New Zealand Police - date of act: 7 May 2009; year of award: 2011

Walter Bruce BUTLER - date of act: 7 December 1998; year of award: 1999

Peter James DEAM - date of act: 9 April 2000; year of award: 2005

John Bell FENTON PENETANA - date of act: 10 December 1999; year of award: 2005

Robert Edwin (Rob) HALL, M.B.E. (Deceased) - date of actions: 10-11 May 1996; year of award: 1999
Andrew Michael HARRIS (Deceased) - date of actions: 10-11 May 1996; year of award: 1999

Austin Bernard HEMMINGS (Deceased) - date of act: 25 September 2008; year of award: 2011

Leonard Rex HOLMWOOD - date of act: 7 May 2009; year of award: 2011

Senior Constable Dennis Michael HURWORTH, New Zealand Police - date of act: 7 May 2009; year of award: 2011

Constable Damian Peter John KLAVS, New Zealand Police - date of act: 16 June 1999; year of award: 2005

Anthony McCLEAN (Deceased) - date of act: 15 April 2008; year of award: 2011

Trevor Francis MOKARAKA (Deceased) - date of act: 10 December 1999; year of award: 2005

Anthony Walter MULDER (Deceased) - date of act: 15 April 2008; year of award: 2011

Taufui Aevalu PAEA - date of actions: 6 December 2004; year of award: 2008

Sergeant Jeanette Ruth PARK, New Zealand Police - date of actions: 5 July 2002; year of award: 2005

Detective Sergeant Timothy Nigel SMITH, New Zealand Police - date of act: 7 May 2009; year of award: 2011

Senior Constable Paul Anthony SYMONDS, New Zealand Police - date of act: 7 May 2009; year of award: 2011

Citations

Constable Michael John BURNE, New Zealand Police - Special Honours List 2 April 2011

Citation

The first Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) members to arrive in the vicinity of Chaucer Road, Napier, on 7 May 2009 were Constable Burne, Senior Constable Symonds and Senior Constable Hurworth. They came down Chaucer Road from the intersection with Guys Hill Road. They were intent on finding and evacuating Senior Constable Snee, and Senior Constable Diver who they knew had been shot, as well as any civilians who might have been in the area. The offender, Jan Molenaar, could not be accurately located. He continually fired volleys of shots from high calibre semi automatic weaponry.

As they moved down Chaucer Road they came across the injured Senior Constable Miller who had been shot and was lying in the driveway at 47 Chaucer Road and was being attended to by others. Ascertaining that he was stable, they found Senior Constable Len Snee, also a serving member of the AOS, in front of 41 Chaucer Road (Molenaar's house). Checking Snee's condition, they found that he was deceased. Leonard Holmwood, a civilian who had been shot, was also located nearby. By now Symonds and his team were fully aware that the offender, Molenaar, possessed high calibre semi-automatic firearms, was able to accurately discharge them, was volatile, and had shot three police officers and a civilian. His location unknown, they knew they were in a very dangerous situation.

Even with this knowledge, Burne and the other two AOS officers pressed on, fully exposed to fire, looking for Senior Constable Diver. The three AOS officers thought Diver was possibly in the section at the rear of Molenaar's house. Senior Constable Symonds called out to Diver, the calls alerting Molenaar to their position. Without any warning, Molenaar fired a volley of at least 13 shots at them. The officers took cover behind a wooden fence close to Molenaar's house. The shots went through the fence above their heads.

They received advice that Diver was in 45 Chaucer Road. Burne was subsequently deployed into the Old Napier Cemetery, which was across the road from 41 Chaucer Street, and was tasked with providing observations of Molenaar's address.

Constable Burne showed outstanding bravery, not only in making the decision to enter the immediate area outside 41 Chaucer Road on 7 May 2009 at a very early stage in the incident, knowing at least one police officer had been shot and that shots were continuing to be fired by the offender, but also in remaining there after finding a colleague shot dead and a civilian wounded. He operated in an area of challenging terrain on a search and rescue mission for those shot by the offender knowing that Molenaar was volatile and not knowing his exact location. He knew that his life was in significant danger, despite being equipped with ballistic armour, as Molenaar was using high calibre semi-automatic firearms at close range.

Walter Bruce BUTLER - Special Honours List 1999 issued 23 October 1999

Citation

On the morning of 7 December 1998, Mr Butler, aged 76, heard screams for help from a neighbour, a sixteen year old girl, who was being attacked by a young male wielding a large knife. The youth appeared intent on sexually violating the girl and had stabbed her several times in the upper back. Mr Butler rushed to the girl’s aid and in doing so was himself savagely attacked by the youth who left the scene when passengers from a passing car stopped to assist. Mr Butler received wounds to his face and body which required over 400 stitches. Mr Butler’s actions may well have saved the girl’s life and he was fortunate not to have lost his own. He displayed outstanding bravery.

Peter James DEAM - Special Honours List 29 January 2005

Citation

On the morning of 9 April 2000, two brothers aged 13 and 14 years at the time were fishing in the Waihao River around an area known as the "box"; so–called because of its wooden boxed internal waterway channel. While walking alongside the box structure they began sinking into the stones, but managed to get away. The younger boy lost a gumboot during the incident, so the older boy went back to retrieve it and became trapped. The younger boy ran for help and found Mr Deam in the nearby car park. By the time Mr Deam reached the box, the older boy was buried up to his chest in the stones. Mr Deam unsuccessfully attempted to pull him out by using his jacket as a rope. He then instructed the younger boy to hold onto the end of the jacket while he ran to get a rope from his car. He looped the rope under the sinking boy's arms and shoulders, however, the boy continued to sink. Mr Deam then drove to the nearest house, but the occupant had no telephone so both men returned to the boy who was by then up to his neck in the stones. Pulling on the rope only seemed to hasten the sinking, so the second man went to a nearby farm to call for help and upon his return could only see the boy's hands. Mr Deam had continued with his efforts to rescue the boy, including trying to dig him out, keeping his head above the water and his mouth free of shingle. Another man arrived to help and Mr Deam decided to enter the box channel from the opposite end and try to push or pull the boy from underneath. He removed most of his clothing and entered the dark, confined and extremely dangerous channel, pushing against the strong current and moving shingle. He located the correct position by knocking and calling out to the third man and was able to find the boy's leg to try and push him free. At this time a member of the Fire Service arrived to assist wearing a wetsuit. Mr Deam was taken away for medical attention shortly afterwards suffering from the extreme cold. Heavy equipment was later called in to remove the boy, who had by that time drowned.

John Bell FENTON PENETANA - Special Honours List 29 January 2005

Citation

On the morning of Friday 10 December 1999, a man entered his home and instructed his de facto partner to go to the shops for some cigarettes. While she was away, he killed their children by cutting their throats. When she returned to their home he attempted to cut her throat and stab her to death. Her screams were heard by two neighbours, Mr Fenton Penetana and Mr Mokaraka, who both went to her aid. Upon entering the house they were confronted by the man who was attempting to kill his partner on the lounge floor. The two men tried to disarm him and in the process Mr Mokaraka received a fatal stab wound to the chest. Mr Fenton Penetana and the woman continued to defend themselves against the man's crazed attacks with the knife. After a fight lasting some considerable time, Mr Fenton Penetana managed to disarm the man before he and the woman were able to make their escape. The man then locked himself inside the house with his two deceased children and inflicted knife wounds to himself. These were not fatal. He was subsequently charged with three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, but was found not guilty on grounds of insanity.

Robert Edwin (Rob) HALL, M.B.E. (Deceased) - Special Honours List 1999 issued 23 October 1999

Citation

On Friday 10 May 1996, Mr Hall was descending from the summit of Mt Everest, in the Himalayas, following his 11-strong expedition’s attempt on the peak, when a blizzard developed. From the Hillary Step, just below the summit, Mr Hall called on the radio for oxygen and assistance for an American climber in the party who had collapsed. Other parties on the descent were unable to reascend due to the storm, yet Mr Hall refused entreaties to descend without the stricken climber. Fellow New Zealand mountaineer, Mr Andrew Harris, did attempt to reach them, but the American climber died during the night. Mr Hall made his way down to the South Summit where early on 11 May he contacted Base Camp by radio. Exhausted and frostbitten, he was unable to descend further. When informed of a failed rescue attempt later that day he responded with dignity and courage. His last communication by radio and satellite link was to give encouragement to his expectant wife in New Zealand. Out of oxygen, he succumbed to the cold some time during the Saturday night. Mr Hall understood that by remaining behind with the American climber he reduced greatly his own chances of survival. His selflessness in deciding to remain with him was an outstanding act of bravery.

Andrew Michael HARRIS (Deceased) - Special Honours List 1999 issued 23 October 1999

Citation

On 10 May 1996 Mr Harris, a guide in an expedition on Mount Everest, in the Himalayas, attempted to go to the aid of Mr Robert Edwin Hall and an American climber who were stranded on the Hillary Step below the summit, and shortly afterwards perished in a blizzard. Mr Harris, hearing by radio Rob Hall's calls for help, turned from the safety of descending the mountain to go back up towards the summit ridge of Everest to assist Mr Hall and the other climber. Despite his own exhaustion, and knowing that his only chance of survival lay in descending, Mr Harris chose to go back up the mountain to try to help Mr Hall. Mr Harris was not heard of again although Mr Hall reported in a radio message that "Andy was with me last night..." and Mr Harris’ ice axe and jacket were later found on the South Summit next to Mr Hall’s body. To go to the aid of a fellow guide in the face of the most appalling conditions was an outstanding act of bravery.

Austin Bernard HEMMINGS (Deceased) - Special Honours List 2 April 2011

Citation

At 5.14 p.m. on Thursday 25 September 2008 a woman, Ms Nonu, went outside the rear of the office building in which she worked in Mills Lane, Auckland, to have a coffee break. As she left the building she saw a man she recognised as the ex-boyfriend of one of her work colleagues. This man approached Ms Nonu and backed her into the corner of the building in a threatening and aggressive manner. At this time Austin Hemmings was making his way from his office building to his car park, which was close to where the man and Ms Nonu were standing. Ms Nonu saw Mr Hemmings and called out to him for assistance saying 'Excuse me, Sir, can you please help me. Can you call the Police.' Mr Hemmings went straight up to them to see what was going on and was told by the man to get out of the way as it was none of his business.

Mr Hemmings then positioned himself between them, with his back to Ms Nonu. The man again told Mr Hemmings to get out of the way if he didn't want to get hurt. At this, Mr Hemmings turned to Ms Nonu and told her to run. As she moved towards the building and the lift, Mr Hemmings kept himself between the man and Ms Nonu, stepping backwards in a guarding motion until she reached the car park entrance. The man followed. When he was about five metres from Ms Nonu he suddenly turned back towards Mr Hemmings. Walking quickly towards him, the man raised his jersey, pulled out a large knife and in one quick motion stabbed Mr Hemmings in the chest.

After stabbing Mr Hemmings the man caught up with Ms Nonu as she was entering an elevator. He punched her several times and attempted to stab her before turning and running from the scene.

Meanwhile, Mr Hemmings managed to stagger about 100 metres from the area before collapsing to the pavement and dying.

In going to Ms Nonu's assistance, Mr Hemmings unknowingly walked straight into a dangerous situation. As soon as he confronted the offender, however, it would have become apparent to him that he risked assault and possible serious injury. At this point he could have left the scene, probably unharmed, but he deliberately put himself in danger and continued to protect Ms Nonu until he believed she had reached a place of safety. This outstandingly brave decision ultimately cost him his life.

Leonard Rex HOLMWOOD - Special Honours List 2 April 2011

Citation

On the morning of 7 May 2009, Mr Leonard Holmwood called in to the house of his friend, Mr Jan Molenaar, at 41 Chaucer Road South, Napier, to have a cup of coffee. He arrived to find three Police Officers talking to Mr Molenaar's partner about some cannabis. Mr Molenaar was absent from the property at the time, walking his dog, but arrived home about five minutes later. Apparently angered by the Police presence, Mr Molenaar appeared holding a rifle and ordered everyone to leave the house. The three Police Officers, Mr Holmwood and Mr Molenaar's partner left the house as instructed. As they reached the street, Mr Molenaar fired a number of shots from the balcony of his house, hitting all three Police Officers. He then came down to the street level carrying the rifle, where he was confronted by Mr Holmwood. Mr Molenaar was facing up Chaucer Road in the direction in which two of the wounded Police Officers were attempting to retreat from the scene. Mr Holmwood was facing down the street, but could hear the voices of the wounded Officers and, briefly looking over his shoulder, could see them only a short distance up the road.

Mr Molenaar told Mr Holmwood to get out of his way and began to swing the barrel of his rifle in the direction of the Police Officers. Mr Holmwood immediately grabbed the rifle and tried to dissuade Mr Molenaar from firing it, at the same time turning it away from its intended targets. A tussle then followed between Mr Holmwood and Mr Molenaar until Mr Molenaar, the larger man, prevailed and Mr Holmwood was thrown to the ground. Mr Molenaar then fired two shots, one of which struck Mr Holmwood in the hip, inflicting a serious injury. By this time, the two Police Officers had managed to take cover away from immediate danger. Mr Molenaar then left the scene and returned to his house. Mr Holmwood managed to take cover behind one of the Police cars that were parked nearby, and beside which the third wounded Police Officer lay. Mr Holmwood tried to reach him to give first aid, but a volley of shots from Mr Molenaar forced him to take cover behind a block wall. It was from this position that Mr Holmwood was subsequently rescued by members of the Armed Offenders Squad and taken to hospital.

Mr Holmwood's outstandingly brave actions prevented Mr Molenaar from firing further shots at the wounded Police Officers, giving them valuable time in which to seek cover and relative safety. In doing so he sustained potentially life-threatening injuries. Even when wounded, he attempted to provide assistance to another wounded Police Officer who lay nearby.

Senior Constable Dennis Michael HURWORTH, New Zealand Police - Special Honours List 2 April 2011

Citation

The first Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) members to arrive in the vicinity of Chaucer Road, Napier, on 7 May 2009 were Senior Constable Hurworth, Senior Constable Symonds and Constable Burne. They came down Chaucer Road from the intersection with Guys Hill Road. They were intent on finding and evacuating Senior Constable Snee, and Senior Constable Diver who they knew had been shot, as well as any civilians who might have been in the area. The offender, Jan Molenaar, could not be accurately located. He continually fired volleys of shots from high calibre semi automatic weaponry.

As they moved down Chaucer Road they came across the injured Senior Constable Miller who had been shot and was lying in the driveway at 47 Chaucer Road and was being attended to by others. Ascertaining that he was stable, they came to Senior Constable Len Snee lying on the road outside 41 Chaucer Road (Molenaar's house). Checking Snee's condition, they found that he was deceased. Leonard Holmwood, a civilian who had been shot, was also located nearby. By now Symonds and his team were fully aware that the offender, Molenaar, possessed high calibre semi-automatic firearms, was able to accurately discharge them, was volatile, and had shot three police officers and a civilian. His location unknown, they knew they were in a very dangerous situation.

Even with this knowledge, Hurworth and the other two AOS officers pressed on, fully exposed to fire, looking for Senior Constable Diver. The three AOS officers thought Diver was possibly in the section at the rear of Molenaar's house. Senior Constable Symonds called out to Diver, the calls alerting Molenaar to their position. Without any warning, Molenaar fired a volley of at least 13 shots at them. The officers took cover behind a wooden fence close to Molenaar's house. The shots went through the fence above their heads.

They received advice that Diver was in 45 Chaucer Road. Hurworth, along with another AOS member gave cover to a group who went to 45 Chaucer Road to give medical assistance to Diver. Once Diver was stabilised, he was placed on a stretcher, which Hurworth assisted in carrying back up the steep gradient of Chaucer Road.

Senior Constable Hurworth showed outstanding bravery, not only in making the decision to enter the immediate area outside 41 Chaucer Road on 7 May 2009 at a very early stage in the incident, knowing at least one police officer had been shot and that shots were continuing to be fired by the offender, but also in remaining there after finding a colleague shot dead and a civilian wounded. He operated in an area of challenging terrain on a search and rescue mission for those shot by the offender knowing that Molenaar was volatile and not knowing his exact location. He knew that his life was in significant danger, despite being equipped with ballistic armour, as Molenaar was using high calibre semi-automatic firearms at close range.

Constable Damian Peter John KLAVS, New Zealand Police - Special Honours List 29 January 2005

Citation

On the evening of 16 June 1999, Constable Klavs was patrolling alone when he saw a van being driven erratically on Jackson Street, Petone. The van had previously been reported stolen. He stopped the van, which contained eight young people and approached the driver, asking for his driver's licence. The driver then presented a sawn–off shotgun at him, resting the weapon on the window sill only a foot or so from the Constable. The driver pulled the trigger, but the firearm did not discharge as the safety catch was on. Constable Klavs returned to his Police car and called for assistance. The van left the scene at speed and Constable Klavs followed while reporting on the direction of travel and requesting Police backup. In East Street, the van turned and drove back towards Constable Klavs, ramming his vehicle and pushing the driver's side into a concrete wall. The Constable was forced to leave the Police car via the passenger's door and, fearing for his life, left the scene on foot, now pursued by the van. The Constable took cover behind a trailer, while the van first passed him and then returned again. Constable Klavs left the trailer and ran along the street, pursued by the van with the occupants abusing him and threatening his life. The driver fired the shotgun at Constable Klavs, but missed him. The van then left the scene. The driver was subsequently convicted of attempting to murder Constable Klavs.

Anthony McCLEAN (Deceased) - Special Honours List 2 April 2011

Died: 15 April 2008, Mangatepopo Gorge

Citation

On 15 April 2008 a group of 10 students from Elim Christian College, including Anthony Mulder, aged 16, and accompanied by Anthony (Tony) McClean, a teacher, started out on a river canyoning expedition in the Mangatepopo Gorge. This was one of the activities on a school camp and was led by Ms Sullivan, an instructor from the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre (OPC). On the way back down the Gorge they became trapped by rising water in one of its narrowest points, a short distance from where the stream flows over a 7 metre-high dam.

When the party set off there was light rain falling and the stream was running at its normal volume of about half a cubic metre per second. The party did not know that heavy rain higher up in the Mangatepopo catchment area was heading for the Gorge. By the time they reached the narrow part of the Gorge above the dam, the stream was in flood and they found themselves trapped between the sheer sides of the canyon and the raging waters. With the water level rising rapidly, they took refuge on a ledge beneath an overhang, but as the water level continued to rise above knee level and the current increased, it appeared that remaining in this position was not going to be possible and they would eventually be swept away.

At approximately 3.30 p.m., Ms Sullivan, the instructor, made the decision to go down the stream. A plan was made in which she would go first and take up a position on the left bank above the dam. From there, she would throw a rope, using the 'throwbag' method they had practised, to each member of the group as they came down the stream. The students were told to swim to the left side of the stream and catch the rope as they came down. The instructor would then pull them to safety.

Tony McClean was to remain with the student group and would be the last to leave the ledge. As he would be out of sight upstream, he was to release the students at five-minute intervals. This would allow time for the instructor to prepare the rope for each student. The instructor and Tony McClean agreed that those students least confident in the water would be paired with and attached to a more confident and better swimmer. All the other students were to go individually. Floyd Fernandes was paired with fellow student Anthony Mulder, and Tom Hsu was paired with Tony McClean. The instructor also decided to take one of the students, Ashley Smith, with her.

Each member of a pair was attached to the other by means of a looped sling and carabiner, or similar device, with the weaker person in front.

The instructor and Ashley Smith entered the torrent first. After being buffeted and turned around in the fast-flowing water, the instructor managed to catch hold of a rock and haul the pair of them to the safety of the bank only five metres from the top of the dam. As planned, Tony proceeded to release each student from the ledge at five-minute intervals. By the time Tony McClean and Tom Hsu were ready to leave the ledge the stream was in full flood. Tony managed to catch the rope thrown by the instructor but was unable to hold on against the force of the torrent and both he and Tom were also swept over the dam.

Throughout this ordeal, Tony McClean had remained a tower of strength. He kept to the rescue plan that had been agreed with the instructor and while the group was on the ledge he inspired each one to summon their personal courage, to face their fears and to make the jump into the waters that were racing past them just a few feet away.

Both he and Anthony Mulder were competent swimmers and would have stood a much better chance of survival if they had attempted the stream on their own, even though they had no experience of the water conditions in which they found themselves. They also knew that their friends would have little chance of survival in such conditions without assistance, but if they were tied together their own chances of survival would be significantly reduced. Nevertheless, they did not hesitate in agreeing to this part of the plan and, in acts of outstanding bravery, selflessly accompanied their friends into the torrent.

Tony McClean and Anthony Mulder were subsequently discovered some considerable distance below the dam, still attached to their friends.

Trevor Francis MOKARAKA (Deceased) - Special Honours List 29 January 2005

Citation

On the morning of Friday 10 December 1999, a man entered his home and instructed his de facto partner to go to the shops for some cigarettes. While she was away, he killed their children by cutting their throats. When she returned to their home he attempted to cut her throat and stab her to death. Her screams were heard by two neighbours, Mr Fenton Penetana and Mr Mokaraka, who both went to her aid. Upon entering the house they were confronted by the man who was attempting to kill his partner on the lounge floor. The two men tried to disarm him and in the process Mr Mokaraka received a fatal stab wound to the chest. The offender was subsequently charged with three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, but was found not guilty on grounds of insanity.

Anthony Walter MULDER (Deceased) - Special Honours List 2 April 2011

Died: 15 April 2008, Mangatepopo Gorge

Citation

On 15 April 2008 a group of 10 students from Elim Christian College, including Anthony Mulder, aged 16, and accompanied by Tony McClean, a teacher, started out on a river canyoning expedition in the Mangatepopo Gorge. This was one of the activities on a school camp and was led by Ms Sullivan, an instructor from the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre (OPC). On the way back down the Gorge they became trapped by rising water in one of its narrowest points, a short distance from where the stream flows over a 7 metre-high dam.

When the party set off there was light rain falling and the stream was running at its normal volume of about half a cubic metre per second. The party did not know that heavy rain higher up in the Mangatepopo catchment area was heading for the Gorge. By the time they reached the narrow part of the Gorge above the dam, the stream was in flood and they found themselves trapped between the sheer sides of the canyon and the raging waters. With the water level rising rapidly, they took refuge on a ledge beneath an overhang, but as the water level continued to rise above knee level and the current increased, it appeared that remaining in this position was not going to be possible and they would eventually be swept away.

At approximately 3.30 p.m., Ms Sullivan, the instructor, made the decision to go down the stream. A plan was made in which she would go first and take up a position on the left bank above the dam. From there, she would throw a rope, using the 'throwbag' method they had practised, to each member of the group as they came down the stream. The students were told to swim to the left side of the stream and catch the rope as they came down. The instructor would then pull them to safety.

Tony McClean was to remain with the student group and would be the last to leave the ledge. As he would be out of sight upstream, he was to release the students at five-minute intervals. This would allow time for the instructor to prepare the rope for each student. The instructor and Tony McClean agreed that those students least confident in the water would be paired with and attached to a more confident and better swimmer. All the other students were to go individually. Floyd Fernandes was paired with fellow student Anthony Mulder, and Tom Hsu was paired with Tony McClean. The instructor also decided to take one of the students, Ashley Smith, with her.

Each member of a pair was attached to the other by means of a looped sling and carabiner, or similar device, with the weaker person in front.

The instructor and Ashley Smith entered the torrent first. After being buffeted and turned around in the fast-flowing water, the instructor managed to catch hold of a rock and haul the pair of them to the safety of the bank only five metres from the top of the dam. As planned, Tony proceeded to release each student from the ledge at five-minute intervals. Anthony Mulder and Floyd Fernandes entered the stream some 30 minutes after the instructor and Ashley Smith had managed to reach the safety of the bank. When they arrived at the point opposite where the instructor stood they were unable to reach either the rope or Ashley's outstretched hand and were swept over the dam and down some 20 feet to the stream below.

Both Anthony Mulder and Tony McClean were competent swimmers and would have stood a much better chance of survival if they had attempted the stream on their own, even though they had no experience of the water conditions in which they found themselves. They also knew that their friends would have little chance of survival in such conditions without assistance, but if they were tied together their own chances of survival would be significantly reduced. Nevertheless, they did not hesitate in agreeing to this part of the plan and, in acts of outstanding bravery, selflessly accompanied their friends into the torrent.

Anthony Mulder and Tony McClean were subsequently discovered some considerable distance below the dam, still attached to their friends.

Taufui Aevalu PAEA - Special Honours List 3 May 2008

Citation

On the morning of 6 December 2004 in Glenfield, Auckland, Mr Paea’s neighbour was brutally murdered by her estranged partner, who had been on the run from the Police for a number of weeks.

The offender arrived at the woman’s home while she was getting out of her car and helping her two year old daughter out of a car seat. The offender approached, and after talking to the woman for a short time, their conversation turned into a heated argument. The offender began to assault the woman who managed to break free. The offender caught up with her and began stabbing her in the back and shoulders. The victim managed to struggle free again and this time ran to the front door of Mr Paea’s house.

The offender caught up to the victim at Mr Paea’s front door and both of them fell through it into the hallway. Mr Paea, aged 67, who was in the kitchen at the time, rushed into the hallway to find the offender straddling the victim and stabbing her in the neck, shoulders, and stomach. He called out to the offender to “stop”, but was ignored. Mr Paea then tackled the offender, wrapping his arms around him and trying to pull him off the victim. The offender pushed Mr Paea away causing him to fall onto the victim. As he tried to stand up, the offender stabbed him in the left cheek causing a deep puncture wound that later required five stitches and a brief period of hospitalisation.

Mr Paea, wounded and in shock, managed to escape from the offender’s attentions, left the house, alerted another neighbour and asked them to call the Police. He then returned to his home to save his wife and grandchildren, who were in the lounge. His wife managed to pass the two children out of the window and he took them to a place of safety before returning to his home yet again to get his wife and see if he could assist the victim.

As he approached the house he met the offender, who was leaving carrying two knives. Seeing Mr Paea coming towards him, the offender jumped over a fence, ran through a neighbouring property to his car and drove away. Mr Paea entered his home to find his wife safe, but the other woman had since died, having received some thirty stab wounds.

Although he was unsuccessful in saving the life of the victim, Mr Paea showed exceptional bravery in attempting to do so by tackling the armed offender at considerable risk to his own life. He also displayed bravery, presence of mind and determination in alerting a neighbour to the situation and by returning to his home to ensure the safety of his wife and grandchildren and to see if he could provide any further assistance to the victim.

Sergeant Jeanette Ruth PARK, New Zealand Police - Special Honours List 29 January 2005

Citation

At about 1.00 p.m.on 5 July 2002, Detective Jeanette Park and Detective Constable Duncan Taylor went to an address in Taipo Road, Rongotea to warn a local family that a person known to them, and who was the subject of a Domestic Protection Order in respect of a family member, may have returned to the area. While talking to the family they saw the person drive past the house. The two officers, who were unarmed, pursued his vehicle which stopped, but when they got out of their vehicle the other person drove off and returned to the Taipo Road address. Both vehicles stopped in the driveway of the house. As the two Police officers left their car the male occupant of the other presented a rifle at Detective Constable Taylor and without warning, fired a single shot which killed him instantly. Detective Park considered going to the aid of her colleague but saw the offender point the rifle at her. He fired a shot, which missed. He then fired another shot, hitting her in the buttock and inflicting a serious wound. Nevertheless, she was able to jump the cattle stop at the end of the driveway as the offender fired a fourth shot. Believing she was being hunted by the offender and knowing she had to get help; Detective Park used cover to go some 500 metres over farmland to a farm-house. She alerted the occupant to the danger and reported the situation to Police Operations. She then began taking the occupant to a place of safety but saw that another Police car had arrived and was parked too close to the house where the shooting had taken place. Detective Park made her way up a ditch to the patrol car to warn the officers to move to a place of safety. By this time the pain from her wound was severe and she could no longer stand. She crawled along the roadside and warned another officer of the danger. Detective Park was then evacuated to hospital to have her wound treated.

The family were eventually rescued unharmed and the offender arrested. The actions of the two officers had given the family time to barricade themselves in a room from which they eventually made their escape unharmed.


Note: Detective Constable Duncan Taylor (Deceased) was awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal for his actions on 5 July 2002. The citation for Constable Taylor can be viewed on the Special Honours List 29 January 2005 page of the New Zealand Honours Unit website.

Detective Sergeant Timothy Nigel SMITH, New Zealand Police - Special Honours List 2 April 2011

Citation

On 7 May 2009 Detective Sergeant Timothy Smith was one of the first Police Officers to arrive at the scene of the fatal shooting of Senior Constable Len Snee, and the wounding of Mr Len Holmwood, and Senior Constables Grant Diver and Bruce Miller, by Mr Jan Molenaar in Chaucer Road South, Napier.

Though he was unarmed, Detective Sergeant Smith advanced into the immediate scene of the incident with several colleagues to a position across the road and slightly uphill from Mr Molenaar's house, and where two civilians were sheltering behind their cars. From this position, Senior Constable Miller could be seen lying wounded in a driveway next to Mr Molenaar's house and partially sheltered by a low brick wall. Having ascertained that one of the civilian cars had the keys in the ignition and was able to be driven, Detective Sergeant Smith ordered the two civilians to get clear of the area. Realising that it would not be possible to extract Senior Constable Miller without some means of protecting him, Detective Sergeant Smith decided to make a rescue attempt using the car. He climbed in, cleared the back seat of a guitar case and then heard a volley of shots, which made him duck for cover on the front seats. As he did so, he saw two Police Officers approach Senior Constable Miller on the other side of the road and cover his body with theirs to protect him from further injury. All three were afforded some protection by the low brick wall.

Assuming that the shots were aimed in his direction and fearing for the safety of his colleagues, especially those around Senior Constable Miller, Detective Sergeant Smith sat up, started the car, reversed, did a U-turn and then reversed again into the driveway where Senior Constable Miller lay. As he backed into the driveway, one of the officers with Senior Constable Miller opened the back door and he was quickly loaded into the back seat. Detective Sergeant Smith then drove away from the scene to a position of safety at the Police cordon and an ambulance was called. Until it arrived, Detective Sergeant Smith made Senior Constable Miller as comfortable as possible and kept him awake and talking until medical help arrived. It was during this time that Senior Constable Miller told Detective Sergeant Smith where the other wounded Police Officer, Senior Constable Diver, might be found. It was later noted that the car used in the evacuation had been hit twice by bullets fired by Jan Molenaar, one of which had entered through the middle of the roof and exited through the rear passenger's quarterlight on the driver's side.

Following the evacuation of Senior Constable Miller, Detective Sergeant Smith returned to the inner cordon. Shortly afterwards Detective Sergeant Clere of the Armed Offenders Squad arrived and made a plan to evacuate Senior Constable Diver from his hiding place at 45 Chaucer Road. This plan made provision for a 'hot extraction' using an ambulance should the group be fired upon at any stage. Detective Sergeant Smith volunteered to accompany Detective Sergeant Clere and a St John Paramedic on this mission. On arrival at No. 45, Detective Sergeant Smith assisted in stretchering the seriously wounded Senior Constable Diver from the scene, back up the hill, to a waiting ambulance. While medical staff prepared Senior Constable Diver for evacuation by helicopter, Detective Sergeant Smith remained with him, talking to him and providing comfort.

That morning Detective Sergeant Smith played a prominent role in the recovery of two seriously wounded Police Officers. Though unarmed, he displayed coolness, initiative and exceptional bravery in effecting the rescue of Senior Constable Miller under fire from the gunman. He put his life in danger again only a short time later when he joined the team that successfully rescued Senior Constable Diver. Without his outstanding contribution, the outcome for the wounded officers might have been different.

Senior Constable Paul Anthony SYMONDS, New Zealand Police - Special Honours List 2 April 2011

Citation

Senior Constable Symonds was the senior member of a team of three Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) members who were the first AOS officers to arrive in the vicinity of Chaucer Road, Napier, on 7 May 2009. Symonds kept in contact with Police Communications throughout the time he attended the incident, helping to build a picture of the scene in Chaucer Road. He made a crucial decision to convey activities over the main Police radio channel, rather than the encrypted AOS channel. This meant that information was disseminated quickly to Police in Napier, enabling them to make swift tactical decisions. It also placed Symonds at risk as his communications could have been audible to the offender, Molenaar.

Senior Constable Symonds led Senior Constable Hurworth and Constable Burne down Chaucer Road from the intersection with Guys Hill Road. They were intent on finding and evacuating Senior Constable Snee, and Senior Constable Diver who they knew had been shot, as well as any civilians who might have been in the area. The offender, Jan Molenaar, could not be accurately located. He continually fired volleys of shots from high calibre semi-automatic firearms.

As they moved down Chaucer Road they came across the injured Senior Constable Miller who had been shot and was lying in the driveway at 47 Chaucer Road and was being attended to by others. Ascertaining that he was stable, they found Senior Constable Len Snee lying on the road outside 41 Chaucer Road (Molenaar's house). Bending to check Snee's condition while cover was provided by Hurworth and Burne, Symonds found that Snee was deceased. Leonard Holmwood, a civilian who had been shot, was also located nearby. By now Symonds and his team were fully aware that the offender, Molenaar, possessed high calibre semi-automatic firearms, was able to accurately discharge them, was volatile, and had shot three police officers and a civilian. His location unknown, they knew they were in a very dangerous situation.

Even with this knowledge, he decided to press on, fully exposed to fire, looking for Senior Constable Diver. The three AOS officers thought Diver was possibly in the section at the rear of Molenaar's house. Senior Constable Symonds called out to Diver, the calls alerting Molenaar to their position. Without any warning, Molenaar fired a volley of at least 13 shots at them. The officers took cover behind a wooden fence close to Molenaar's house. The shots went through the fence above their heads.

Some time later Symonds received advice that Diver was at 45 Chaucer Road and went there with Hurworth. Symonds covered Chaucer Road so that medical assistance could come to Diver's aid. Once Diver had been evacuated, Symonds and other AOS officers deployed into 43 Chaucer Road to keep Molenaar cordoned in his property. Symonds remained there until he was relieved late on the evening of 7 May 2009.

Through his radio communication, Senior Constable Symonds made a significant contribution to disseminating information on the situation to Police, enabling tactical decisions to be made, and placed himself at significant risk due to his location and these communications.

Senior Constable Symonds showed outstanding bravery, not only in making the decision to enter the immediate area outside 41 Chaucer Road on 7 May 2009 at a very early stage in the incident, knowing at least one police officer had been shot and that shots were continuing to be fired by the offender, but also in remaining there after finding a colleague shot dead and a civilian wounded. He operated in an area of challenging terrain on a search and rescue mission for those shot by the offender knowing that Molenaar was volatile and not knowing his exact location. He knew that his life was in significant danger, despite being equipped with ballistic armour, as Molenaar was using high calibre semi-automatic firearms at close range.

Note: Sergeant Heath Courtenay Jones, Senior Sergeant Anthony James Miller and Constable Kevin Lawrence Rooney, all members of the New Zealand Police, were each awarded the New Zealand Bravery Decoration for their actions in Napier on 7 May 2009. Detective Paul Buckley, Senior Constable Bradley James Clark, Detective Sergeant Nicholas John Clere, all members of the New Zealand Police, Advanced Paramedic Stephen James Smith, St John Ambulance Service, Mr Donald Garry Fraser and Ms Christine Margaret Jackman, were each awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal for their actions in Napier on 7 May 2009. The citations for these nine persons can be viewed on the Special Honours List 2 April 2011 page of the New Zealand Honours Unit (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) website.

 

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