Heke in custody

Heke in custody

Mike Bush, Police Commissioner

Ngā Mihi. Great news this morning that Rollie Heke has been located and arrested without incident in a residential address in Kaingaroa Forest township. Since his arrest, five other people have been arrested and Heke is now facing a variety of charges including three counts of attempted murder relating to shots fired at three police officers.

It has been a long 12 days of huge commitment from a large number of resources, who are to be congratulated for their relentless focus to locate Heke and bring this to a close.

I received a message from our Minister this morning, expressing her support: “I know how challenging the last 12 days have been. Police have done an outstanding job.”

I’m incredibly proud of the work NZ Police as a whole has put into the two operations concerning Heke and the result this morning speaks for itself. It was a complex investigation that was highly fluid and the situation changed frequently. I’m grateful for the urgency and agility staff displayed on behalf of the operation teams to locate Heke and investigate the shooting event itself.

We dedicated significant resources right across the country. As well as the detectives and teams leading the two operations, we can’t forget the specialist support staff such as the intelligence team, tactical squads and overt and covert teams. These teams worked a variety of shifts over the last week and a half and made themselves available with very little notice.

In addition, frontline staff and leadership teams across the country have been crucial to the smooth running of these operations, completing taskings from the operations teams with urgency and displaying great agility when necessary. A large amount of contingency planning went into these operations and I must also acknowledge the work of the District Command Centres who linked directly into the National Command and Co-ordination Centre, acting as efficient conduits to get necessary information to staff on the ground.

I would especially like to acknowledge Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley and his team based in Waikato. Graham led the initial investigation to find Heke immediately following the shooting that morning, and the investigation into the shooting once the operation was split into two. Their investigation continues to build the evidence as this matter goes before the court.

The support of Superintendent Bruce Bird and the Waikato District Leadership Team to this operation must also be acknowledged as they responded with urgency that morning and have shown great support to Graham and his team, as well as the national search for Heke.

I would also like to thank Detective Superintendents Chris Page and Greg Williams who have taken ownership of the national search for Heke since Wednesday last week. Once it became apparent Heke was no longer in Morrinsville and the search had to be extended nationally, Chris and Greg led a team of extremely competent and dedicated staff who worked hard throughout the last eight days, acting on information and leads and responding as necessary.

As always, we cannot forget the public who acted in good faith to support Police over the last week and a half. The public shows great support to Police in times like this and we are well aware it is often the public who are key to helping us solve these cases. We are always grateful for the assistance you provide us and thank those of you helped in this particular case.

There is still a lot of work to be done.  As this matter is now subject to an ongoing investigation and before the courts I will end with a huge thank you again – to the staff leading and working on the operations and the public for your support during this time.

As always, keep safe.


Mike Bush MNZM

Commissioner of Police

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