Police Remembrance Day
Police Remembrance Day falls on September 29, the feast day of the Archangel Michael - the patron saint of Police. The day pays tribute to police officers who have been slain on duty, and remembers Police staff who have died in the past year.
The roll call of New Zealand police slain on duty had three historical names added to it in 2016, bringing the total number to 32 police officers killed by a criminal act since records began in 1886.
The Royal NZ Police College and the 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. In the past, 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.
Members of police and their families are encouraged to wear Police Remembrance Pins on Remembrance Day and the days leading up to it. Even if you can’t make it to a memorial service, please take the time to put on a Remembrance Day pin and pause at some stage on 29 September to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the source of their work.
Official Remembrance Day Service at Royal New Zealand Police College
The official Remembrance Day service is to be held at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua on Friday 29 September 2017. The service honours the New Zealand, Australian and South Pacific police officers who have been slain on duty, and New Zealand Police employees who have died as a result of their Police duties. It also remembers New Zealand Police staff - serving and retired, sworn and non-sworn - who have died in the past year. Tributes to the officers, the calling of the Roll of Honour, a traditional salute and the laying of a wreath by the Commissioner of Police at the Police College Memorial Wall are all integral parts of the service.
Police districts may also hold their own Remembrance Day services at police stations across the country.
Chevron-embedded Huia Pin to raise awareness
The Police Remembrance Pin is a Police chevron-embedded Huia feather. It 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! Huia tangata kotahi. He totara kua hinga.
This translates to:
The feather of the Huia, for someone special. One dearly departed.
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.
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."
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.
Distribution of Police Remembrance Pins
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. Members of the public wishing to purchase a pin can enquire at their local police station.
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.