Response to Christchurch fires

Response to Christchurch fires

Commissioner Mike Bush

Ngā mihi. Many thanks to all Canterbury District staff who have been flat out assisting with the emergency response to the Christchurch fires. Thanks also to those staff deployed from other districts to help.

This has been a very dangerous and difficult time for the city’s residents, including for many of our people. Our thoughts are also with the loved ones of the helicopter pilot who died when his machine crashed on the Port Hills on Tuesday.

Police is part of a huge response that includes the Fire Service, the Defence Force, Civil Defence and many other agencies. Our collective aim is to prevent any further loss of life and to minimise the loss of property as much as possible.

Our staff have been kept busy with urgent evacuations and our Southern Communications Centre staff have put in a huge effort. Northern Comms have pitched in by picking up dispatch in Southland, freeing up Southern staff for a radio channel set up specifically for the Police response.

A huge thanks, too, to our radio technicians, who have established a back-up process should fire adversely impact any of the radio communication hubs we have on the Port Hills.

It’s teamwork like this that gives Police so much ability to respond in times of crisis.

Attempted abduction in Auckland

Well done to Auckland staff involved in the response to an attempted abduction on Monday. The investigation that immediately swung into action resulted in a suspect being identified and taken into custody the next evening.

This attack occurred in broad daylight and would have shocked the people of Auckland. They will have been greatly reassured by the speed and professionalism of our response.

Our own Forrest Gump?

Remember that bit in Forrest Gump where the lead character goes for a run and just keeps going? That’s kind of what Inspector Blair Telford did when he set off on a walk more than three months ago.

Blair has just successfully completed the Te Araroa trail, which stretches 3000 kilometres from Cape Reinga to Bluff (see picture below). I’m not sure even he quite knows why, but after a busy couple of years as the Police liaison in the Minister’s office it’s certainly a well-deserved break.

Blair kept a blog during his time on the road, which records that the journey took him 107 days, including 100 days of walking. He averaged 30 kilometres a day, went through five pairs of shoes and two phones and lost three toenails – as well as 17 kilograms. What an epic adventure. I’m sure you all join me in congratulating Blair.

That's all for this week. Until next time, stay safe.

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