Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Onepu siege: 'No emotion can come into it at all' - Squad trained for 'work first'


The former long-time leader of the Rotorua police AOS says the officers at the Onepu siege will not be letting the fact their mates have been shot cloud their judgment.

"Even though we treat all operations with professionalism, this will be more so the case. It will be calmly, calmly."

Nigel Escott, a former senior sergeant who led the local squad for 10 years until he retired in 2005, said he likened it to the same scenario as when the Rotorua police armed offenders squad was called in to arrest the man who killed Mangakino Constable Murray Stretch in 1999.

Read more:
Four police officers shot: gunman told to give himself up

Mr Stretch was investigating a burglary of a cafe when 20-year-old Carlos Namana savagely beat and kicked him to death.

"We were called in the middle of the night to get him and when I went into the squadron room, I didn't need to say it but I said 'guys, this is a normal callout' and they said 'yup, we know'."

Mr Escott said naturally the squad members were upset, but they were trained to never show it.

"We almost go the other way. No emotion can come into it at all."

He said when the Onepu incident was over, police would debrief the situation to find out how it happened.

"They'll be asking what they could have done differently to make sure it doesn't happen again but I would think from what I've seen they haven't done anything tactically wrong."

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