The Hawke's Bay police dog handler whose dog was trapped for more than a day inside the Napier siege cordon 10 years ago has graduated his last dog.
Senior Constable Grant Diver and labrador dog Ky were among eight dog teams graduating this afternoon at the national police dog training school in Naenae, near Lower Hutt.
Diver said during the 10th anniversary last month he expected Ky to be his last dog, with all but three of his 36 years' service based in Hawke's Bay as a dog handler.
He has had several patrol dogs and two detector dogs, all German shepherds, apart from the latest.
Among his previous dogs was Five-O, or Fi as it was known to officer Diver. Fi was in the dog van when Diver and fellow senior constables Len Snee and Bruce Miller were shot by enraged cannabis grower Jan Molenaar as he ordered them out of his Chaucer Rd property during a drugs search on the morning of May 7, 2009.
Snee was killed and Diver and Miller seriously injured. But nothing was known of Fi until the dog was rescued by armed police 37 hours later under cover of darkness. Police feared another barrage of shots might come from the house, in which Molenaar was found dead several hours later.
When rescued Fi was still in the van. Diver and other experts agreed the training had been right on-point, with the dog's apparent silence throughout probably concealing its presence and saving its life. Uninjured, Fi returned to work as Diver recovered, retiring in 2011 and having to be put down four years ago.
Of the dogs graduating today, six will work in New Zealand and the Pacific in the hunt for narcotics, firearms and explosives, and what police called "dodgy cash".
Four of the dogs will be based in Fiji and Tonga.
Despite his length of service, Diver was not the longest-serving officer at the graduation. That honour went to Christchurch veteran Senior Constable Bruce Lamb. He joined the police in 1978 and has had seven dogs, including Gage, which was fatally shot in 2010.