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Special Honours List 2 April 2011 (Bravery Awards)

NEW ZEALAND BRAVERY AWARDS

The Queen has been pleased to approve the following New Zealand Bravery Awards:

THE NEW ZEALAND BRAVERY STAR

NZBS

Michael John BURNE

Constable, New Zealand Police

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.

Austin Bernard HEMMINGS (Posthumous) 

DECEASED  25 September 2009, Auckland

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  

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.

Dennis Michael HURWORTH

Senior Constable, New Zealand Police

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.

Antony McCLEAN (Posthumous)

DECEASED: 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 Antony (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.

Anthony Walter MULDER (Posthumous)

DECEASED: 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.

Timothy Nigel SMITH 

Detective Sergeant, New Zealand Police

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.

Paul Anthony SYMONDS 

Senior Constable, New Zealand Police

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.

THE NEW ZEALAND BRAVERY DECORATION

NZBD

Heath Courtenay JONES 

Sergeant, New Zealand Police

Citation

On 7 May 2009, Sergeant Heath Jones 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.

Sergeant Jones advanced into the immediate scene of the incident with several colleagues while under fire from Mr Molenaar.  Once the position where the wounded Senior Constable Miller was lying had been located, he, along with Constable Kevin Rooney and Senior Sergeant Anthony Miller, moved over to where he lay to protect him.  It was about this time that a group of three Armed Offenders Squad members passed close by, attracting the attention of the gunman who fired five to 10 shots from a high-powered rifle that kicked up dirt and stones very close to where they were crouching.  Also about this time, Detective Sergeant Smith decided to use a red civilian car parked nearby to remove Senior Constable Miller from the scene.  Sergeant Jones provided cover with his rifle while Detective Sergeant Smith drove the car to where Senior Constable Miller lay and, with the assistance of Senior Sergeant Miller and Constable Rooney, successfully evacuated Constable Miller from the scene.

Having assisted in the evacuation of Senior Constable Miller, Sergeant Jones and others withdrew from their position and established a cordon point at the northern junction of Chaucer Road South and Guys Hill Road.  It was here that they were advised that the wounded Senior Constable Diver was located at No. 45 Chaucer Road South, two doors away from gunman Jan Molenaar’s house at No. 41.  A plan was formulated in which an evacuation party consisting of Detective Sergeant Clere, Detective Sergeant Smith and Mr Stephen Smith, an Advanced Paramedic from St John Ambulance, would take a stretcher to where Senior Constable Diver was hiding and attempt to remove him from the scene.  The plan included provision for a ‘hot extraction’ using an ambulance, should the group be fired upon at any stage.  Sergeant Jones gave his ballistic vest to the paramedic and remained at the cordon point while the evacuation party set out.  Having successfully recovered Senior Constable Diver from his position at No. 45, the evacuation party began its return journey to the cordon point; however, they encountered difficulty due to the steep gradient of the hill.  Seeing this, Sergeant Jones, without his ballistic vest, ran down the hill, took over from one of the other Police Officers at the front of the stretcher and assisted the group to safety.

Sergeant Jones played an important role in the events that took place on the morning of 7 May.  He displayed exceptional bravery and put his own life in danger during the successful evacuation of Senior Constable Miller from his exposed position near the gunman’s house, while under fire, by providing cover while his colleagues protected Senior Constable Miller and then placed the wounded officer in the car. He performed a second act of bravery that morning by going to the assistance of the group evacuating Senior Constable Diver, even though he had earlier given his body armour to the paramedic in the evacuation team.

Anthony James MILLER 

Senior Sergeant, New Zealand Police

Citation

On 7 May 2009 Senior Sergeant Anthony Miller 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 Jan Molenaar in Chaucer Road South, Napier.

Though he was unarmed, Senior Sergeant Miller advanced into the immediate scene of the incident with several colleagues and, while under fire from Molenaar, located the position where Senior Constable Miller was lying, wounded.  When Detective Sergeant Smith drove the car to where Constable Miller lay, Senior Sergeant Miller moved forward and, while preparations were being made to move Senior Constable Miller from the scene, covered part of Senior Constable Miller’s body with his own in order to shield him from further injury.  He then assisted in placing Senior Constable Miller into the car before returning to the other members of his group who had been covering their activities from a position nearby.  Senior Sergeant Miller then supervised the withdrawal of Sergeant Heath Jones, Constable Kevin Rooney and himself from the scene to positions at the inner cordon.

A short time afterwards, a group of officers including Detective Sergeant Smith, Detective Sergeant Nicholas Clere and a paramedic, Mr Stephen Smith, made their way down Chaucer Road with a stretcher to recover Senior Constable Diver from his hiding place at No. 45.  Plans had been made for a ‘hot extraction’ using an ambulance, should the group be fired upon at any stage.  A few minutes later, they began their return journey up the hill, but it was apparent that they were having considerable difficulty carrying Senior Constable Diver.  While Constable Rooney provided cover with a rifle from his cordon position, Senior Sergeant Miller and Sergeant Jones ran down the hill to meet the stretcher party and assisted them in bringing Senior Constable Diver to a position of safety.

Senior Sergeant Miller played a leading role in the events that took place on the morning of 7 May.  He displayed exceptional bravery and put his own life in danger during the successful evacuation of Senior Constable Miller from his exposed position near the gunman’s house, while under fire, by initially protecting Senior Constable Miller’s body with his own and then placing the wounded officer in the car.  He followed this with a display of coolness and professionalism when conducting the tactical withdrawal of the group to the cordon, and performed a second act of bravery that morning by going to the assistance of the group evacuating Senior Constable Diver.

Anthony Frederick Ronald MILLSOM

Wing Commander, Royal New Zealand Air Force (Retired)

Citation

On 26 April 2008 Anthony Millsom, then a Wing Commander serving in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, was at home at Whenuapai when he heard the sound of a small aircraft as it nose-dived into the ground from a low altitude.  Looking out of the window, he saw billowing smoke and immediately ran from his house towards the crash site, which was inside the perimeter of the Air Base.  As he approached the crumpled aircraft he saw it engulfed in flames.  The surrounding grass, which extended to the concrete base of a nearby building, was also burning.  Wing Commander Millsom recognised the building as one used to store highly inflammable liquid oxygen.

Grabbing a nearby fire hose he ran to the aircraft and quickly realised that one of its occupants was lying face down half out of plane.  The person’s legs were burning and flames were licking up their back, melting their shirt.  Wing Commander Millsom ran up to the aircraft, but couldn’t see all of it because of the flames and smoke.  He called out to the accident victim, but did not receive a response.  Despite the risk to himself, he attempted to get the occupant out of the aircraft, but was initially beaten back by the flames and heat.  He then made another attempt and managed to grab the victim’s belt and pull him out and away from the aircraft.

Others had now arrived at the scene and were shouting warnings.  The fire had increased in intensity and was getting ever closer to the liquid oxygen store, heightening the risk of an explosion.  Wing Commander Millsom therefore had no option but to retire to safety.

In attempting to rescue the occupant of the aircraft, Wing Commander Millsom suffered burns and blisters to both hands and flash burns to the side of his face.  He acted selflessly, and with great courage and persistence, not knowing if the person he was attempting to rescue was alive or dead.  All the time, he was at risk from the surrounding fire and a possible explosion.

James Alexander MUIR 

Constable, New Zealand Police

Citation

At 3.00 a.m. on 23 June 2007 a stolen vehicle was observed entering Mt Maunganui.  The vehicle was being driven by two 14-year-old youths who had escaped from a Child, Youth and Family residential bush programme in the Upper Ruatoki Valley.  They had burgled two rural residences, from which they had obtained firearms and ammunition, as well as the car, and had committed further offences in Whakatâne.  Constable James Muir, aged 41 years, and his Police dog, Neo, were called out to join the pursuit.

While the vehicle was being pursued, the passenger climbed into the back seat, armed himself with a 0.303 rifle and began to fire at the Police vehicles, including Constable Muir’s car.  About this time the offenders’ car began to slow, as its tyres had been spiked by the Police earlier in the pursuit.  The offending vehicle was forced to stop.  Constable Muir, seeing that his colleague was in a dangerous situation, came to his aid by parking immediately behind the offenders’ vehicle.

By this time, another officer had got out of his car and attempted to apprehend the driver of the offenders’ car.  The youth in the back of the car pointed the rifle at the Constable who, fearing he would be shot, took cover behind a nearby wall.  The two constables then verbally challenged the two youths to surrender.  The youth with the rifle then pointed it first at the other officer and then at Constable Muir.  At one stage Constable Muir saw the youth work the bolt and heard a ‘click’ as the trigger was pulled.  Fortunately the rifle chamber was empty.  The driver of the offenders’ car then got out of his vehicle and surrendered.  The youth with the rifle also got out of the vehicle and moved towards the other officer’s Police car, which still had its engine running. Before he could reach it, Constable Muir released his dog, Neo, who apprehended him.  While this was going on, the other youth attempted to escape, and was also apprehended.

Constable Muir acted calmly and professionally in a dangerous and rapidly changing situation over which he had no control, and in which he had no alternative but to render assistance to his colleague.  Throughout the incident there was the risk of being shot by an offender who showed that he was prepared to use a firearm to effect his escape.

Mervyn Raymond NEIL 

Senior Firefighter, New Zealand Fire Service

Citation

At 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 5 April 2008 two Hamilton fire crews responded to a monitored smoke alarm at the cool store complex in Tamahere.  Senior Firefighter Mervyn Neil was a member of one of those crews.  Immediately after the crews gained entry to the cool store a massive explosion occurred with flames and debris propelled tens of metres into the air.  The officer in charge was killed in the explosion and seven other firefighters were severely injured.  The most severely injured survivor was Senior Firefighter Neil who received burns to 73% of his body.

Nearby citizens, including several qualified medical personnel, ran to the scene to assist the victims.  They tended to the victims’ injuries and, unaware of the increasing danger to which they were exposed, helped remove firefighters trapped by the debris.

Senior Firefighter Neil, though grievously injured, was aware of the developing danger and quietly and professionally took charge of the situation and led people away from the danger area.  Despite being urged to rest and receive treatment, he continued to work to ensure the safety of his colleagues and their rescuers, cooling the burns sustained by his colleagues with a fire hose and showing others how to do it.  When support appliances started to arrive some 11 minutes after the explosion, the officer in charge of the first appliance to arrive was directed to the scene by Senior Firefighter Neil, who was still assisting with operations despite his life-threatening injuries.  He finally left the scene by ambulance some 40 minutes after the explosion and subsequently spent 10 weeks in a coma.

Senior Firefighter Neil’s actions between the time of the explosion and his evacuation to hospital were examples of exceptional bravery and professionalism of the highest order and contributed substantially to the safety of members of the public and of his own injured colleagues in the critical period immediately following the explosion.

Michael Ross O’LEARY 

Inspector, New Zealand Police

Citation

At 3.55 p.m. on 24 April 2009 Inspector Michael O’Leary was off duty and driving with his family along State Highway One some 17km north of Taupo, when the vehicle in front of him, a Toyota van, crashed head-on with a black sedan coming the opposite way.  The Toyota, which contained six people, flipped into the air, landed on its rear, and rolled four times before going off the road and down a grass embankment and bursting into flames.

Inspector O’Leary was the first person to arrive at the scene.  Instructing his son, Conor, to wave down any approaching traffic, he went first to the black sedan and determined that the male driver showed no signs of life.  Going to the other side, he noticed that the female passenger was semi-conscious and may have sustained a broken leg and other injuries.  He told her that help was on the way, but decided not to try and remove her from the car.

Hearing an explosion he looked over to the other side of the road and saw the Toyota in flames.  Inspector O’Leary crossed the road but the flames and the angle of the bank prevented him from approaching the Toyota from that side.  At this time he was met by Mr Peter Booth, a motorist who had stopped to assist with a small fire extinguisher.  After a few words to Mr Booth, Inspector O’Leary ran down the bank and crossed a wire fence to get to the other side of the vehicle.  From there he could see two children hanging out to about chest level of what was once a window.  As the flames above him were getting stronger, he pulled a two-year-old boy from the Toyota and ran about 15 metres away from the vehicle, where the child was taken by Inspector O’Leary’s daughter back to their car.  He then went back to the Toyota to rescue the second child, and was joined by his son, Conor.

By now the Toyota was full of dense black smoke, the flames were becoming fiercer and there were one or two small explosions from inside the vehicle.  Inspector O’Leary, Conor O’Leary and Mr Booth attempted to pull the second child, a boy, free but he was held inside by what may have been his seat belt, and the flames beat them back.  Determined not to let the child die, Inspector O’Leary asked if anyone had a knife.  Fortunately Mr Booth had brought a pocket knife with him when he came to assist.  Inspector O’Leary took it and, leaning inside the vehicle, was able to cut away whatever was restraining the child.  The three of them were then able to pull the boy, whose trousers were on fire, clear of the vehicle.  Inspector O’Leary ripped the burning clothes from the child and took him to a place of safety.  By now the Toyota was a ball of fire and further rescues were impossible.

Although he had sustained burns himself, Inspector O’Leary continued to manage the accident scene, especially the care of the injured, until the Police and other emergency services arrived.  He was then taken to hospital for treatment.  Despite the horrific scene that confronted him, Inspector O’Leary displayed coolness, professionalism and exceptional bravery in the manner in which he first controlled the accident scene, and then went about attempting to rescue the people trapped inside the burning Toyota.  At any time during the rescue attempts the Toyota’s fuel tank could have exploded, killing or seriously injuring him, and those who were with him.

Kevin Lawrence ROONEY 

Constable, New Zealand Police

Citation

On 7 May 2009 Constable Kevin Rooney was one to 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 Jan Molenaar in Chaucer Road South, Napier.

Though he was unarmed, Constable Rooney advanced into the immediate scene of the incident with several colleagues and, while under fire from Molenaar, located the position where the wounded Senior Constable Miller was lying.  As preparations were being made to move Senior Constable Miller from the scene, Constable Rooney covered part of Senior Constable Miller’s body with his own in order to shield him from further injury.  He then assisted in placing Senior Constable Miller into the vehicle, in which he was taken from the scene to a place of safety.

Constable Rooney then evacuated the scene with two other officers, withdrawing up Chaucer Road South to the intersection with Guys Hill Road, where a cordon had been established.  A number of shots were fired by the gunman in the direction of the cordon during the evacuation of Senior Constable Diver later that morning.

Constable Rooney played an important role in the events that took place on the morning of 7 May.  He displayed exceptional bravery and put his own life in danger during the successful evacuation of Senior Constable Miller from his exposed position near the gunman’s house, while under fire, by protecting Senior Constable Miller’s body with his own and then helping his colleague place the wounded officer in the car.

THE NEW ZEALAND BRAVERY MEDAL

NZBM

Peter Winston BOOTH 

Citation

At 3.55 p.m. on 24 April 2009 Mr Peter Booth was driving north on State Highway One 17km outside of Taupo, when he was overtaken by a vehicle which then crashed head-on with a Toyota van coming in the opposite direction.  The van, which contained six people, flipped into the air, landed on its rear and rolled four times, before landing off the road, rolling down a grass embankment and bursting into flames.

Mr Booth stopped his vehicle and, seeing that the engine compartment of the Toyota was on fire, grabbed a small fire extinguisher.  He emptied the fire extinguisher onto the blaze but this had little effect because by this time the fire had intensified, some nearby vegetation had been set alight and there were sounds of small explosions coming from inside the burning vehicle. 

It was at this time that he saw Inspector Michael O’Leary, who had already saved one child from the burning vehicle, trying to rescue a second child.  Without hesitation he went to assist.

As the van filled with dense black smoke, Mr Booth, Inspector O’Leary, and Inspector O’Leary’s son, Conor, tried to pull a boy out of the vehicle, but could not do so.  Realising that a seat belt was restraining the child in the car, Inspector O’Leary called for a knife.  Fortunately Mr Booth had one in his pocket and Inspector O’Leary was able to cut the belt that was restraining the child and they pulled the child from the wreckage to safety.  The intense heat, dense smoke and flames prevented any further rescue attempts from being made.

Mr Booth displayed bravery in going to the assistance of Inspector O’Leary in his rescue of one of the children in the Toyota.  There was an ever-present danger of the fire engulfing them both as they stood beside the vehicle attempting to effect the rescue.

Paul BUCKLEY 

Detective, New Zealand Police

Citation

On 7 May 2009 Detective Paul Buckley was one of the first members of the Armed Offenders Squad to arrive at the scene of the fatal shooting of Senior Constable Len Snee, and the wounding of Leonard Holmwood, and Senior Constables Grant Diver and Bruce Miller, by Mr Jan Molenaar in Chaucer Road South, Napier.

Detective Buckley arrived at the scene with Senior Constable Bradley Clark from the southern end of Chaucer Road, stopping his vehicle at the intersection with Spencer Road.  Moving up the hill on foot, the two men reached a position outside No. 35 Chaucer Road South from where they could see a male civilian, Mr Len Holmwood, lying on his back at the rear of Senior Constable Diver’s abandoned vehicle.  Carrying on up the hill again, they reached Senior Constable Diver’s vehicle and, while Detective Buckley took up a covering position with his rifle, Senior Constable Clark dragged the wounded Mr Holmwood to a position out of direct sight of the gunman and began dressing his wound.

Realising that they were probably too close to the gunman’s position, they lifted Mr Holmwood and dragged him further down the road to a place of safety behind a block wall in the vicinity of No. 1 Spencer Road, where they continued to administer first aid to his injuries.  He was later taken by a Police car to a waiting ambulance.

Detective Buckley, in concert with Senior Constable Clark, displayed both bravery and dedication to duty in carrying out the evacuation of Mr Holmwood from a position that was only metres away from the gunman’s house.  Their actions enabled Mr Holmwood to receive essential first aid to a serious wound which, had it remained untreated for any length of time, might have proved fatal. 

James Iain CHRISTIE 

Citation

At 8.23 p.m. on 25September 2007 Mount Ruapehu erupted.  The eruption caused boulders, rocks, mud and other debris to smash through the Dome Shelter near the summit of the mountain, where Mr James Christie and his climbing partner, Mr William Pike, were asleep.  Mr Christie was able to free himself from under the debris when the floor boards gave away and the water receded, but Mr Pike was buried up to the waist and had also sustained a compound fracture to the lower right leg.

Mr Christie immediately went to the aid of his friend.  In the dark, and dressed in only thermals, he tried to pull the rocks off his friend’s body.  When his hands were too cold to continue, he tried using a shovel and an ice pick to remove the material that covered him, while at the same time trying to keep him conscious.  Because the rocks were too big and heavy, he could only free his friend’s left leg.  All the while, the mountain was continuing to erupt intermittently and the ground was shaking, causing debris to land on and around the Shelter.  Unable to free Mr Pike from the debris that entrapped him, Mr Christie realised he would have to leave his friend and go to get help. 

After tying a tourniquet around Mr Pike’s broken right leg, he proceeded down the mountain to get help, in the dark, dressed only in wet thermals, wet jacket, and boots with no socks, and carrying an ice axe.  After 40 minutes of running down the mountain, avoiding pot holes made by the rocks blown from the crater, and slipping over in the icy conditions, Mr Christie came across a snowcat driver, who contacted emergency services.

Had Mr Christie decided to remain with his friend, it is likely that both men would have died from hypothermia before help could have arrived.  Mr Christie’s courageous decision to leave his friend and the relative safety of the Shelter resulted in both men surviving the ordeal.

Bradley James CLARK 

Senior Constable, New Zealand Police

Citation

On 7 May 2009 Senior Constable Bradley Clark was one of the first Armed Offenders Squad members to arrive at the scene of the fatal shooting of Senior Constable Len Snee, and the wounding of Mr Leonard Holmwood, and Senior Constables Grant Diver and Bruce Miller, by Mr Jan Molenaar in Chaucer Road Napier.

Senior Constable Clark arrived at the scene with Detective Buckley from the southern end of Chaucer Road, stopping his vehicle at the intersection with Spencer Road.  Moving up the hill on foot, the two men reached a position outside No. 35 Chaucer Road South from where they could see a male civilian, Mr Leonard Holmwood, lying on his back at the rear of Senior Constable Diver’s abandoned vehicle.  Carrying on up the hill again, they reached Senior Constable Diver’s vehicle and, while Detective Buckley took up a covering position with his rifle, Senior Constable Clark dragged the wounded Mr Holmwood to a position out of direct sight of the gunman and began dressing his wound.

Realising that they were probably too close to the gunman’s position, they lifted Mr Holmwood and dragged him further down the road to a place of safety behind a block wall in the vicinity of No. 1 Spencer Road, where they continued to administer first aid to his injuries.  He was later taken by a Police car to a waiting ambulance.

Senior Constable Clark, in concert with Detective Buckley, displayed both bravery and dedication to duty in carrying out the evacuation of Mr Holmwood from a position that was only metres away from the gunman’s house.  Their actions enabled Mr Holmwood to receive essential first aid to a serious wound which, had it remained untreated for any length of time, might have proved fatal. 

Nicholas John CLERE  

Detective Sergeant, New Zealand Police

Citation

On his arrival at the cordon point at the northern junction of Chaucer Road South and Guys Hill Road, Napier, on 7 May 2009, Detective Sergeant Nicholas Clere took command of the Police elements in the immediate area, including members of the Armed Offenders Squad.  Having completed a reconnaissance of the area between his cordon position and the gunman’s house, he was advised that the wounded Senior Constable Grant Diver was located at No. 45 Chaucer Road, two doors up the road from the gunman’s house.  He sent a member of the Armed Offender’s Squad to ascertain Senior Constable Diver’s condition and the urgency of medical attention required, and made arrangements for an ambulance and medics to be available. 

He formulated a plan in which he, a member of the Armed Offenders Squad, another Police Officer and a volunteer Advanced Paramedic from St John Ambulance would take a stretcher to where Senior Constable Diver was hiding and attempt to remove him from the scene.  As the group proceeded down Chaucer Road, Detective Sergeant Clere and the Armed Offenders Squad member led the way walking side by side, protecting the two team members behind them.  As they reached the driveway of No. 45, they were in the gunman’s line of fire.  Detective Sergeant Clere provided cover as they entered the house, by standing in the driveway in full view of the gunman’s position.  Having successfully recovered Senior Constable Diver from his hiding place at No. 45, the evacuation party began its return journey to the cordon point, with Detective Sergeant Clere providing cover by walking backwards behind the stretcher bearers.

Detective Sergeant Clere displayed both leadership and bravery in the way he managed the evacuation of Senior Constable Diver and led the evacuation team.  His actions ensured that the wounded officer received medical treatment as quickly as possible, greatly increasing his chances of survival.

Nicolas Warren CORLEY 

Constable, New Zealand Police

Citation

At 2.15 a.m. on 23 August 2008 Constable Nicolas Corley was working a night shift from the Mount Wellington Police Station with another officer, when a car containing two passengers was seen speeding along Rockfield Road in Oranga.  The driver lost control of the vehicle and collided with a power pole, fences, and parked vehicles along Rockfield Road before coming to rest.  The fuel tank ruptured and the car was engulfed in flames.  The passenger was able to escape, but the driver was injured and trapped in the wreckage.

Constable Corley, who was transporting an arrested person to the Auckland Central Police Station, came across the crash site, by which time the wrecked vehicle was completely ablaze.  Without hesitation, Constable Corley ran to the vehicle and, at great risk to himself, pulled the driver from it.  In doing so, he sustained burns to his arms and the left side of his face.

The driver of the car sustained burns and serious neck and head injuries.  The entire passenger compartment of the car was gutted by the fire and provided a graphic illustration of what the driver’s fate would have been had Constable Corley not intervened.

Constable Corley’s bravery and quick action in pulling the trapped driver from the wreckage at the risk of his own life saved the driver’s life.

Grant Wayne EXETER 

Citation

At 3.00 p.m. on 30 July 2008 Mr Grant Exeter, aged 53 years, was working at the Makuri Quarry, when he was told that a car with one occupant had been swept off the road nearby and into the Pongaroa/Pahiatua Rivers, which were in flood.  The car had rolled down the bank and appeared to be sinking.

Mr Exeter and his workmate immediately ran to the scene and tried to throw a long cargo strap to the driver, who was trapped in the car.  These attempts failed.  Seeing that the water was rising steadily and there was a possibility the driver might drown, Mr Exeter decided to enter the freezing water and take the strap to the trapped vehicle.

Because of the strong current, Mr Exeter had to enter the river upstream and let himself be carried downstream towards the car.  During the attempt his only link to safety was a light rope held by his workmate.  If Mr Exeter were to miss his target, he would risk drowning or serious injury amongst the trees and other debris in the river.  Fortunately his attempt was successful.  On reaching the car, he braced his feet against it, and leant into the current for support while he tied the strap around the waist of the driver.  While doing this he also had to hold the driver’s face above the water, which was beginning to cover his mouth and nose.

Mr Exeter then clung to the car while his colleagues dragged its driver to the bank, and safety.  The strap was then thrown back to Mr Exeter who, in turn, was pulled from the river.

Mr Exeter displayed bravery in entering the flooded river at risk to his own life to save the driver of the trapped car.  Had he not been successful, both he and the driver could have drowned in the freezing waters.

 

Donald Garry FRASER  

Citation

At approximately 9.45 a.m. on the morning of 7 May 2009 Mr Fraser was about to leave his home at 37 Guys Hill Road, Napier, when he heard the sound of about half a dozen gunshots coming from the vicinity of Chaucer Road South.  He got into his car, a white Toyota Caldina, and drove to the northern intersection of Guys Hill Road and Chaucer Road South, where he met his neighbour, Christine Jackman, who was driving a red Honda.  She told him there had been a shooting and she had seen a man crawling on the footpath about halfway down Chaucer Road South.  Mr Fraser immediately drove down the hill to see if he could help, parking close to where the wounded Police Officer lay, partially sheltered from view by a hedge.  The wounded officer was Senior Constable Bruce Miller.

Mr Fraser spoke briefly to Senior Constable Miller and then dialled 111 on his cell phone, advised the Police that there was an ‘officer down’ and then left the line open while he tried to ascertain the extent of Senior Constable Miller’s injuries.  About this time, he was advised by an occupant of No. 45 Chaucer Road South that a second wounded Police Officer, Senior Constable Grant Diver, had taken refuge at that address.  Ms Jackman arrived at the scene shortly afterwards in her red Honda and the two of them began to check the adjacent letterboxes to find out their exact location.  A further two or three shots were fired by the gunman, causing them to seek whatever cover was available.  It was not known if the gunman’s fire was directed at them, but this was believed to be the case as there appeared to be no other people in the area at the time.  Mr Fraser remained with Senior Constable Miller, who asked if Mr Fraser could use his car to get him away from the scene.  Without knowing how this request was to be accomplished, Mr Fraser returned to his car, crouched behind it and began to open the back door.  He then saw three Police Officers moving down Chaucer Road towards his position and called to them to come and get their mate.  When they arrived, Mr Fraser, accompanied by Ms Jackman, withdrew up Chaucer Road South, taking cover at No. 51 on instructions from the Police.

Mr Fraser acted bravely in going to the assistance of the wounded Police Officer at risk to his own life.  The information he provided to Police from a position close to the gunman was influential in their subsequent handling of the incident and enabled the wounded officers to be evacuated from the scene and receive vital medical attention much sooner than might otherwise have been the case.

Peter Alexander HANNE 

CITATION

Late at night on 5 October 2008 a truck driver was driving north from Gisborne when his 23-tonne vehicle and trailer jack-knifed and ran off the edge of the road in the Waioeka Gorge, south of Opotiki.  The vehicle ended up on its side, with the trailer unit hanging precariously at a 45-degree angle and the cab dangling underneath it a metre above the Waioeka River.  The entire unit was in danger of sliding into the water.  The driver was trapped in the cab and had sustained broken ribs.  Eyewitnesses describe the truck as being in a very precarious position and the top of the cab was starting to split due to pressure from the trailer unit immediately above it.

Mr Peter Hanne, aged 18 years, who lived nearby, was alerted to the incident by a passing motorist and immediately went to the scene.  He climbed three metres down from the road to reach the crash site.  He crawled under and through the wreckage and up to the driver’s window, which he smashed with a wheel brace and assisted the driver from the cab and up the river bank to safety.

Throughout the rescue there were sounds of creaking and groaning metal from the truck as it continued to move.  At one stage the driver thought it was going to topple into the water.  Had it done so, Mr Hanne would have been crushed and both he and the driver would probably have lost their lives.

Peter Hanne could have watched and waited for emergency services to arrive; however, he displayed bravery and disregard for his own safety in going to the immediate assistance of the trapped driver.  As the truck was moving throughout the rescue attempt, he could not be sure that there was enough time to effect a rescue and that he would emerge from the attempt unharmed.

Christine Margaret JACKMAN  

Citation

At approximately 9.45 a.m. on the morning of 7 May 2009 Ms Christine Jackman was leaving her home in Guys Hill Road, on the way to the gym, when she heard a number of what are now known to be gunshots coming from Chaucer Road.  Thinking nothing of it at the time, she drove to the northern intersection of Guys Hill Road and Chaucer Road South, where she was waved down by a neighbour and told that there had been a shooting and a man had been seen crawling up a driveway halfway down the hill.  Getting out of her car, she could see someone crawling slowly towards one of the houses.  Her next door neighbour, Mr Donald Fraser then drove up.  The two of them talked for a short while, after which Mr Fraser drove down Chaucer Road South to see if he could help.

Seeing Mr Fraser help the injured man to cover behind a fence, Ms Jackman decided that she too would help and drove her red Honda car down Chaucer Road South, parking it behind Mr Fraser’s Toyota.  On arrival it became clear to her that the injured man was a Police Officer, Senior Constable Bruce Miller, and that he had been shot in the back.  At the time, Mr Fraser was talking to the Police on his cell phone.  The Police needed to know the address at which they were located, so both of them started to check the letterboxes of the adjacent houses.  Two shots fired by the gunman at this time brought their efforts to an abrupt halt and Ms Jackman took cover behind her car.

She then saw three Police Officers moving down Chaucer Road towards her position and called to them to come and assist.  When they arrived, one of them, Detective Sergeant Smith, asked her if he could use her car to remove Senior Constable Miller to safety.  She agreed.  On instructions from the Police, both she and Mr Fraser then withdrew up Chaucer Road accompanied by two Police Officers, finally taking cover at No. 51.

Ms Jackman acted bravely in going to the assistance of the wounded Police Officer at risk to her own life.  The information she provided to Police from a position close to the gunman was influential in their subsequent handling of the incident and enabled the wounded officers to be evacuated from the scene and receive vital medical attention much sooner than might otherwise have been the case.

Conor Liam O’LEARY 

Citation

At 3.55 p.m. on 24 April 2009 Mr Conor O’Leary, aged 15 years, was a rear seat passenger in a car driven by his father, off-duty Inspector Michael O’Leary on State Highway One some 17km north of Taupo, when the vehicle in front of him, a Toyota van, collided head-on with a black sedan coming the opposite way.  The Toyota, which contained six people, flipped into the air, landed on its rear, and rolled four times before going off the road and down a grass embankment and bursting into flames.

As his father went to the aid of the victims, Conor controlled the traffic flow approaching the accident scene, before getting someone else to continue with this task and going to assist his father.

Seeing his father run towards the burning Toyota, Conor decided to help and followed him down the bank and over the wire fence.  By the time he arrived, his father had already rescued a child from the wreck and was taking him to a safe place in the nearby paddock.  As Conor looked at the burning Toyota, he could see a man moving inside, but he was unable to help due to the intense heat and flames.  When his father returned to the Toyota to attempt to rescue a second child, Conor went to assist.  Conor, his father and Mr Peter Booth tried to pull the child free of the vehicle.  All the time the child was yelling out ‘Help me, I’m burning’.  Eventually, Inspector O’Leary was able to cut away the seat belt holding the child inside the vehicle and pull him free.

Once the child was free and his clothes extinguished, Conor looked after him and tended his injuries until help arrived.

Having seen the trapped man inside the burning vehicle, and been beaten back by the heat and flames once already, Conor O’Leary put aside any fear he may have had and went to help his father rescue the second child.  In doing so he displayed levels of fortitude and bravery that are beyond those expected of a 15 year old.

Stephen James SMITH  

Advanced Paramedic, St John Ambulance Service

Citation

On the morning of 7 May 2009 Advanced Paramedic Stephen Smith was the St John Ambulance Service on-call Duty Manager for the Hawkes Bay area.  While attending a civil defence meeting, he was called to attend the incident at Chaucer Road South, Napier, and coordinated the deployment of St John resources, including two ambulances.  Having first provided immediate medical assistance to one wounded Police Officer, Mr Smith took up a position with the cordon at the northern junction of Chaucer Street South and Guys Hill Road.  While there, he was approached by the Police commander at that location and asked if he would assist with the retrieval of a wounded Police Officer who was located very close to the gunman’s known position and needed medical attention before being evacuated.  Mr Smith agreed and, having been fitted with a ballistic vest by one of the Police Officers and briefed on what to do if fired upon, he joined the evacuation team and began a steady walk down Chaucer Road towards the house where the casualty was located at No. 45.  The last few metres to the house were in the line of fire from the gunman’s last known position.

On arrival, Mr Smith immediately treated Senior Constable Grant Diver for a serious lower abdominal wound and prepared him for evacuation.  He realised that Senior Constable Diver required surgery as soon as possible if he was to survive.  Having placed him on a stretcher, the evacuation team began the walk back up Chaucer Road South to the Police cordon and the waiting ambulance, where Mr Smith was able to provide further treatment and comfort to Senior Constable Diver.  The ambulance, with Mr Smith on board, took Senior Constable Diver to a point where a helicopter was waiting to take the wounded officer to hospital.

Mr Smith did not have to accompany the evacuation party as it was not a requirement of his job to put himself in harm’s way.  He acted bravely by doing so, and ensured that urgently needed medical attention was made available to a seriously wounded Police Officer at the earliest possible moment, significantly increasing his chances of survival.

Mark TAYLOR 

Chief Petty Officer Combat System Specialist, Royal New Zealand Navy

Citation

On 5 October 2007 Chief Petty Officer Combat System Specialist Mark Taylor, a member of the ship’s company of HMNZS Canterbury, was involved in a series of sea boat drills for coxswain training while on route from Cape Reinga to Auckland.  He was standing in an alcove from which a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) was being lowered.  Everything progressed normally until the RHIB touched the water and tipped onto its side.  Two crew members in the RHIB at the time managed to escape, but two others were restrained by their harnesses and forced back into the boat by the on-rush of water.  As HMNZS Canterbury was being brought to a stop, an attempt was made to hoist the RHIB back on board.  At this point, it turned over completely, trapping the two occupants beneath it.  One crew member managed to escape, but the other remained trapped inside the upturned boat.

During this time, several of the ship’s company entered the water and attempted to rescue the trapped sailor, including Chief Petty Officer Taylor, who had pulled on his wetsuit as the RHIB tipped on its side.  He made several unsuccessful rescue attempts by free diving under the boat and trying to cut the trapped sailor’s harness.  During one of his brief periods on the surface, he attempted to release the boat’s self-righting gear, but unfortunately this was also unsuccessful.  He continued to try to rescue the trapped sailor, until, after almost losing consciousness and suffering from water in the lungs, he too needed to be assisted from the water.  Chief Petty Officer Taylor was later admitted to the ship’s hospital, suffering from exhaustion, salt water aspiration and a shoulder strain.

As an experienced diver, Chief Petty Officer Taylor was fully aware of how dangerous these rescue attempts could be, but he displayed bravery when, though injured, he persisted in his efforts to rescue his fellow crew member to the point of exhaustion and where his own life could have been at risk.

Dated this 2nd day of April 2011

REBECCA KITTERIDGE, Clerk of the Executive Council.

NEW ZEALAND BRAVERY AWARDS

The Queen has been pleased to approve the following Honorary New Zealand Bravery Awards:

THE NEW ZEALAND BRAVERY MEDAL

NZBM

Maurice Ugo CONTI

Sophie CONTI 

Citation

On 12 October 2008 Maurice and Sophie Conti and their two children (aged 6 and 4) were anchored in sheltered waters off Vatulele Island, south west of Suva on their catamaran, the Ocealys.  At approximately 11.45 p.m., they picked up a mayday call on their marine radio.

The call was from the Australian boat Timella that had a New Zealand woman and her two sailing companions on board and which had struck the Takau Lakaleka Reef south of Viti Levu, and was hard aground.  The weather was reported as being atrocious; with winds of 30 knots and 3-4 metre swells.  By 2.00 a.m. on 13 October 2008, the Timella started taking on water and 15 minutes later sank.  The situation of the crew was made even more perilous when the mast of the Timella punctured the life raft and this too sank, leaving the crew stranded on the coral reef.

No other boat heard the mayday call, except for a cruise ship located some 130 nautical miles south of the incident, too far away to render immediate assistance.  Sophie Conti managed to contact the New Zealand High Commission in Suva by phone and later established communications with the Rescue Coordination Centre in New Zealand.  Between them, they would co-ordinate the events that were to follow.  It quickly became apparent that the Fijian Navy vessel on standby would be unable to leave port immediately, there was no helicopter rescue service available in Suva, and a private helicopter service on a nearby island could not be contacted.  No assistance would therefore be forthcoming from the Fijian Search and Rescue organisations until daylight.  Even if this did eventuate, it was unlikely that it would reach the Timella until about midday on 13 October – probably too late to save those on board.

Realising that they were the only hope for those aboard the Timella, Maurice and Sophie Conti weighed anchor at 3.00 a.m. and set course for the Timella, which was some 12 nautical miles and 2.5 hours’ sailing from their position.  They navigated their way out of their sheltered anchorage, in complete darkness, by following a reverse track on their GPS.  Negotiating the strong winds and heavy seas, they arrived at the rescue area at 5.30 a.m.  By this time the crew of the Timella had been in the water for over two hours and could not be seen.  Maurice and Sophie continued searching the area until they managed to spot three ‘dots’ on the reef.  After a fruitless search for a way to get close to those on the reef, Maurice launched the dingy while Sophie took control of the Ocealys.

In what has been described as a brilliant display of seamanship, Maurice Conti picked his way through the reef, despite the rough seas, and reached the crew, some of whom who were showing signs of hypothermia.  By 6.00 a.m. he had pulled them to safety and successfully made his way back to the Ocealys, a difficult and dangerous endeavour on its own.  Four hours’ sailing later the Ocealys reached the sheltered waters of Lukiri Harbour and the Robinson Crusoe Island Resort.

Throughout this incident the Contis had been the focal point for communications between the crew of the Timella, the search and rescue operations at the New Zealand High Commission in Suva and the Rescue Coordination Centre in New Zealand.  It was this communication link that not only assisted the rescue operation, but provided a source of hope to those marooned on the reef.

Had it not been for the courage, determination and superb seamanship of Maurice and Sophie Conti, the lives of crew of the Timella, who were stranded on the reef, would probably have been lost.  It should be noted that, throughout the rescue, the Contis had to consider the safety of their two young children, who were also on board the Ocealys.

Dated this 2nd day of April 2011

REBECCA KITTERIDGE, Clerk of the Executive Council.

THE NEW ZEALAND ORDER OF MERIT (MNZM)

The Queen has been pleased to make the following appointment to The New Zealand Order of Merit:

MNZM

To be a Member of the said Order:

Roger Murray BURTON 

For services to the community.

Citation

Mr Burton is the Principal of Elim Christian College in Manukau, and it was he who guided the College through the aftermath of the tragic deaths of a teacher and six students during a canyoning trip in the Mangatepopo Gorge on 15 April 2008.

He has received considerable public acclamation for his management and leadership of the College and his local community in the aftermath of the tragedy, and in particular for his caring for the students and parents immediately involved.  He waited at the College after he was notified of the incident for news from the search and rescue effort and comforted key staff members and parents, who were also at the College.  He conducted the press conference on his own because of a desire to communicate the facts of the tragedy clearly, and openly.  While this may have been contrary to school policy, it was an inspired decision, later commended because it prevented an immediate ‘media frenzy’ and stopped false facts of the incident being reported.  In his own words; “There was so much more to be gained by being open than by being closed off.  It enabled the school really to cope with the whole situation too.”

He personally attended all the funerals and the public memorial service; and was noted for the continuous support he gave to all those affected, especially the families.  He displayed an openness and forgiveness that set a precedent by positively influencing the way others dealt with the tragedy and thus helped to eliminate many of the negative outcomes from the incident.

In August 2008 Mr Burton received the New Zealand Principals’ Federation’s Service with Distinction Award and was named New Zealander of the Year for 2008 by North and South magazine.  His skill in managing the aftermath of this tragedy, and the pastoral care he gave to everyone affected, was an example to all.

Dated this 2nd day of April 2011

REBECCA KITTERIDGE, Secretary and Registrar, The New Zealand Order of Merit.