Friday, 17 May 2024 - 2:05pm

Op Rose and our enduring compassion

1 min read

News article photos (3 items)

The unveiling of the plaque.
A good turnout from emergency services, partners and the public.
The plaque and tree.

Wellington District staff and some members from PNHQ joined the community in remembering the five people who lost their lives in the Loafers Lodge fire.

This week saw the first anniversary of the fire at the hostel on Adelaide Road, Newtown.

On the morning of Thursday 16 May, Wellington City Area Commander Inspector Dean Silvester led a Police team to attend the unveiling of a plaque and the planting of a tree in memory of the victims, near the ruined hostel building.

At least 25 Police staff and 150 members of the public attended, including partners from mana whenua, FENZ and Wellington City Mission.

"It was a humbling experience and there was certainly an eerie atmosphere, with the weather conditions matching that of the fateful day," says Dean.

 "From our initial response to the ongoing investigation and continuing family liaison work as part of Op Rose, many staff have a connection to this deeply tragic loss of life."

The plaque. '
This is a memorial to acknowledge those who have passed. This tree was planted by the Wellington City Council to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Loafers Lodge fire, which took the lives of five and the homes of many. To those we lost - rest in peace. To those residents who are still here, may you find solace in this space and memorial, which also belongs to you. Moe marie - Rest in peace.'

District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell paid tribute to the victims and their families, and echoed Dean’s comments in acknowledging the work, dedication and fortitude shown by staff.

"Our teams continue to apply their specialist skills and care to achieve answers and justice for the bereaved," he says.

"For staff directly involved with Op Rose, supporting the operation, or doing the day-to-day mahi everywhere else, I am exceedingly proud of everyone’s efforts and compassion."