Tuesday, 27 July 2021 - 3:58pm |
National News

Police acknowledge Operation Wheaton verdict

2 min read

Please attribute to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster:

Police note both the earlier guilty plea for the murder of Constable Matt Hunt and the guilty verdict for the attempted murder of Constable Dave Goldfinch during a traffic stop in Massey in June 2020.

Epiha also admitted dangerous driving causing injury to a member of the public.

We also note the guilty verdict for Natalie Bracken who was charged with being an accessory after the fact in relation to the wounding of Constable Matt Hunt.

I want to acknowledge Matt’s family and friends, particularly his mum Diane and sister Ellie, who have spent two weeks listening to extremely painful and harrowing details of Matt’s death. They have shown immense strength despite the fact they are still in the midst of their grief and mourning the loss of their much-loved son and brother.

The guilty verdict for the attempted murder of Constable Dave Goldfinch is a relief for him and his family – their journey to recover from what has happened continues and we will support them through this. Dave has shown incredible strength throughout this process and we saw this when he gave his evidence recounting what happened to him and Matt on that tragic day.

I also want to acknowledge the investigation team and the Crown Prosecutors whose dedication and professionalism led to the earlier guilty plea and the outcome today.

Lastly, I would just like to acknowledge the officers who continue to serve our communities across New Zealand and work every day to keep them safe. Matt’s murder and the attempted murder of Dave has affected us all, particularly our frontline officers and I know that this has impacted Matt and Dave’s colleagues in the Waitematā District particularly hard.  This trial has been a brutal reminder of the inherent risks and potential danger that Police officers face every day, and so I want to thank all my staff for their commitment, and continued bravery to do the best possible job every day to protect our communities. I am incredibly proud of the work they do.

I am limited in what I can say at this time due to the matter still being before the Courts, but I will be able to comment further following sentencing.



Media Advisory – the Commissioner of Police Andrew Coster will be available to speak to media at Wellington Airport this evening at 5:30pm. Media are asked to arrive by 5:15pm to set up.

Please RSVP by email to media@police.govt.nz.