State of National Emergency important notice

State of National Emergency

Police service update

At 11.59pm on Wednesday 25 March 2020, New Zealand moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

This means New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home and stop all interactions with others outside of their household.

During this time Police will continue to provide essential policing services.

Find out more

Sergeant Stewart Graeme Guthrie

Sergeant Stewart Graeme Guthrie

13th November 1990
Aramoana, near Dunedin. Posthumously awarded George Cross 1992.

On 13 November 1990 at Aramoana (a seaside resort near Dunedin), a man ran amok with a firearm killing 12 people and wounding many more.

Sergeant Guthrie, the sole duty officer at Port Chalmers Police Station, went immediately to the resort. When he arrived he gathered together another police constable and both of them (now armed) went after the gunman. They finally located him inside his house, so the police constable took position at the front of the house whilst Sergeant Guthrie took position at the rear of the property; the more dangerous of the two positions. During this time, Sergeant Guthrie had kept his control fully informed of the latest situation.

The gunman then left the house by the front entrance and went towards the police constable. When challenged by this officer, the gunman retreated back into the house. Meanwhile, Sergeant Guthrie had taken cover in a cottage next to the gunman's house. Suddenly the gunman appeared out of the rear of the house. Sergeant Guthrie challenged the gunman, and fired a shot into the air. The gunman responded by firing a series of shots, which killed Sergeant Guthrie.

Sergeant Guthrie was posthumously awarded the George Cross. The citation was published in the London Gazette on 18 February 1992.

Head and shoulders photograph of Sergeant Stewart Guthrie.