WHAT: Australian police staff will be officially thanked by NZ Police this afternoon for their hard work during the earthquake operation before some return to Australia over the next two days.
A Poroporoaki (Maori farewell ceremony) will be performed and each departing staff member will be presented with their own piece of Pounamu (Jade/greenstone). This is regarded by Maori as a treasure of immense spiritual and material value showing mana (spiritual power) and to be tapu (sacred). When given as a gift it is believed to bring good luck to the recipient.
Media are welcome to attend and there will also be an opportunity to speak to Australian unit commanders and NZ Police.
Further police staff from Australia will be arriving in Christchurch over the next two days to replace some of those who are leaving.
WHEN: Wednesday 9 March at 4.00pm.
WHERE: Canterbury University, 9 Maidstone Road, Ilam. Media to meet at the administration building.
Sergeant Sharon Darcy
Victroia Police Media Officer
Ph: +61418 338497
New Zealand Police media liaison
027 236 9974