Kelly Makiha is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Rotorua police officer Steve Allpress loses his battle with cancer

Steve Allpress. PHOTO/FILE
Steve Allpress. PHOTO/FILE

Respected Rotorua police officer Detective Steve Allpress has lost his battle with brain cancer.

Mr Allpress died in the early hours of this morningafter being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last May. He was 54.

The popular Rotorua policeman had been undergoing treatment for two tumours, one of which was terminal, but treatment stopped in December.

Mr Allpress' colleagues started the Rotorua Police Welfare Fund and a Charity Night and Auction was held last October in his honour, raising $92,000.

More than 430 people attended the event. Eighty per cent of the proceeds will go towards paying for tertiary education for Mr Allpress' children and the other 20 per cent remains in the fund to go towards other police staff members and their families who need help as a result of injury of illness.

Good friend and organiser of the auction, Sergeant Phil Wilkinson, said Mr Allpress would be greatly missed.

"Steve was very proud to be a police officer. He loved his job and above all loved to help people.

"He had an infectious personality and fantastic sense of humour and he will be missed by staff at the Rotorua police station."

Mr Wilkinson said the charity auction showed the respect Mr Allpress had from not only staff at the Rotorua police station but also showed an overwhelming support from local businesses and community members, who gave generously to support the cause.

"The result of that night exceeded expectations and I know Steve was extremely grateful and will rest easy knowing that his children will get a head start with their future education due to the funds raised."

Despite the prognosis, Mr Allpress didn't want to focus on the negative and was determined to beat it and get back to the job he loved.

In an interview with the Rotorua Daily Post last June, he likened fighting the disease to a police file, saying he would get the details, investigate it, prosecute the bad guy and get a good result for the victims.

"The victims are going to get a good result. Do you follow what I mean? I'm going to have lots more years with my partner and kids," a determined Mr Allpress said at the time.

Mr Allpress' teenage daughter, Tegan Allpress, gave an emotional speech at the charity auction, saying the family could see the fight in her father's eyes and that had already made them so proud.

His funeral service will be held at The Redwoods "Under the Sails" on Tuesday at 11am, followed by a private cremation.

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