Police Remembrance Day
Police Remembrance Day falls on September 29, the feast day of the Archangel Michael - the patron saint of Police.
The official service is held at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua. The service honours the New Zealand, Australian and South Pacific police officers, who have been slain on duty. It also remembers New Zealand Police staff - serving and retired, sworn and non-sworn - who have died in the past year.
Many were unaware of ceremony
Unless police members have had the occasion to attend this service, many were unaware that Police Remembrance Day fell on September 29 and some had no idea that there is an official remembrance day at all.
The Royal NZ Police College and Police Association have been working together to raise the profile of Police Remembrance Day and embed the occasion in the hearts and minds of police members, and in time, the general public.
Chevron-embedded Huia Pin to raise awareness
The Police-chevron embedded Huia feather pin was designed by the Police Association as a way by which members of police across New Zealand can engage in and feel part of the day.
The pin helps raise awareness of Police Remembrance Day and provides a mechanism by which Police members throughout the districts can honour the memory of their fallen colleagues.
The pin is attached to a card carrying the Maori words:
Huia e! tangata kotahi. He totara kua hinga.
This translates to:
The feather of the Huia, for someone special. One dearly departed.
Police Association President Greg O'Connor said "The pin commemorates those police officers who have been slain while carrying out their duty. They paid the ultimate sacrifice. It also serves as an important reminder of the unique nature of policing - where the nature of the job itself brings with it the risk of death"
The chevron-embedded Huia feather Police Remembrance Day pin: Considered 'tapu' or sacred by Maori, the wearing of the Huia tail feather as ornamentation is considered a great honour. The tail plumage of the Huia bird, now also lost to us, is extremely special. The incorporation of the Police chevron into the Huia tail feather, with the small cut at the top, signifying loss, communicates the honour and loss of someone special to Police.
When and How to wear the Police Remembrance Pin
The pin can be worn in the week leading up to and on Police Remembrance Day (29 September) and in the days before and day of a Police funeral. The pin should be worn on the left lapel or left hand side above any medals.
Plans for 2013
The pin will be available for members of police to wear in the week leading up to and on Police Remembrance Day. By wearing the pin members throughout New Zealand will be able to actively take part in honouring the memory of those slain police officers.
Pins will be made available to staff in districts, through their local Police Association Committees, in the week prior to Police Remembrance Day .
Money collected in exchange for the pin goes to the Police Families Charitable Trust, for the families of New Zealand Police who have been slain while carrying out their police duties and applied in accordance with the rules of this Trust.