Police in Kaitaia joined their colleagues around the country in standing in silence at 10.27 on Friday morning, seven days to the minute since 28-year-old Constable Matthew Hunt was fatally shot after what had appeared to be a routine traffic stop in Auckland.

Officers throughout the country were invited by Commissioner Andrew Coster to pay their respects, wherever they were and whatever they were doing, at that moment.

The officer in charge in Kaitaia, Senior Sergeant Russell Richards, said Hunt's death, and the wounding of a second officer, had affected the entire police force, and their families.

"It's been a real wake-up call for all of us," he said.


"Every job has its dangers, and policing is not normally any more dangerous than any number of occupations, but this has reminded us just how fragile life can be. Even what appears to be a small job can go very badly wrong very quickly."

He and his staff had discussed their personal safety whilst on duty, and how to recognise and respond to risks to their wellbeing.

"We can never be complacent," Richards said, "but at the same time we don't want our relationship with the community to change. We are part of the community, and we need to remember that, while remaining alert to the potential for risk in any situation.

"In part we can do that by ensuring that we commit adequate resources to every situation we respond to. We also rely on members of the public to provide us with accurate information when they report crime so we know as best we can what we are facing, particularly if the incident involves weapons or even animals."

Meanwhile more than 100 people gathered in the car park at the Henderson police station, many of them in police uniform, while members of the public stood nearby. The minute's silence was broken by an officer singing Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah,' the short service reducing some officers to tears.

Hundreds of flowers and messages of support towards the police and the Hunt family were placed at the base of flag poles outside the station.

"Thank you for sacrificing your life for all" one message said.

Earlier in the week National MP and former police officer Mark Mitchell read an emotional tribute to Hunt in parliament, quoting Hunt's mother, Diane, who said everyone knew her son to be a 'selfless man of huge integrity.'


"He loved serving the community, he loved serving his community and protecting his fellow New Zealanders," she added.

"My heart is crying out that this was so unnecessary and tragic... My beautiful boy, 28 years young, will never have another birthday."