This week, the Sky Tower was lit up in blue in response to the killing of officer Matthew Hunt.
The gesture is a symbolic and visual reminder of the line between New Zealand's predominantly law-abiding citizens and the minority who do not care what harms their selfish actions cause.
Family, friends and colleagues of Constable Hunt are understandably devastated. Senior police officials did little to conceal their emotions when speaking in the aftermath.
A man was arrested less than two hours after the blasts rang out on Reynella Drive and has been charged with murder while a woman has been charged with assisting him in the crime.
This may provide the wider public with some comfort, but it shouldn't. Approaching the crashed car in Massey on 10.30am on Friday, June 20 was the task of a police officer, not a member of the public.
After earlier failing to stop, it's clear the occupants of the vehicle had little desire to co-operate with authorities. The only persons in danger from the stationary car were the officers. But, as events unfolded and a person subsequently injured as the vehicle accelerated off, smoking gun barrel and all, the officers were right to be concerned about potential harm to the public.
Theirs was a task unenviable, and one which should be untenable to us.
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Understandably, there are discussions about whether the officers involved were adequately armed or armoured; and whether they should have approached the car or held off for more police. Ultimately, this is a matter for the Police Commissioner and Minister of Police to consider.
Overall, we are safer from crime than past years. According to police statistics, the number of unique offenders in New Zealand was 116,292 in June 2015, which has steadily dropped to 92,862 in March this year. That's less than 2 per cent of the population.
But the violence amongst offenders hasn't similarly decreased. Anecdotally, police have frequently warned of rising violence amongst the gang fraternities which have been boosted by Australia's hardline policy on deporting New Zealand-born toughened criminals. Whether Hunt's death is linked in any way to this is yet to be determined.
As with any tragedy, there are lessons to be learned.
One we can all reflect on is: How much respect and appreciation do we have for the blue line which walks amongst and ahead of us, as our last shield against the lawless who do not care who they harm?
• The New Zealand Police Association has set up the NZPA Charitable Trust to accept donations for the family of Constable Matthew Hunt and his fellow officer injured in the shooting: 02-0500-0756808-00.