By TRACEY ROXBURGH
Two hundred and five names were read out in Queenstown’s St Peter’s Church on Tuesday morning, as members of the resort’s thin blue line, and other members of the community, gathered for the annual Police Remembrance Day.
The 33 members of the New Zealand Police Roll of Honour — names of police and traffic offices slain on duty between 1890 and, most recently, in June with the death of Auckland constable Matthew Hunt —were read first.
They were followed by the names of 64 NZ Police employees who died as a result of their police duties, nine officers from Australia and the South Pacific, 14 serving and 85 former NZ Police employees who had died in the past year were read out, one by one.
The resort’s top cop, Olaf Jensen, says of the 33 officers killed on duty, the youngest was just 21 and the oldest was 50.
‘‘They were shot, battered or killed, or on the road because they stood in a criminal’s way or simply because … of their uniform.
‘‘Some died performing acts of heroism, others were in the wrong place at the wrong time.’’
City Hall councillor Craig Ferguson, on behalf of the district, thanked Queenstown police for ‘‘the commitment and service that you give to make our region a safe and better place’’.
He acknowledged several officers he knew who were included in the lists, including senior constable Peter Umbers, of Ranfurly, who was beaten to death in 1990, aged 35, and Queenstown detective Travis Hughes, who died in 2005, aged 37, in a plane crash.
‘‘From the verse of [poem] A Hero’s Welcome, ‘you have not failed your brothers, you clearly gave it all, and through your selfless actions, others will hear the call’.’’