The brutal events that began on Thursday in Napier, and began so quickly to draw the rapt attention of the country, seemed so at odds with the day. It was one of those crystal days, beautiful blue skies and not a breath of wind, the air unmoving, warm and still in the sun and crisp in the shade.

It made the murderous events on Napier Hill seem unreal. Of course, they were very real, and they intensified over the next three days with truckloads of Armed Offenders Squad personnel and Special Tactics Officers, huge police SUVs and a couple of light armoured vehicles and soldiers, guns and gas masks. Suddenly, yesterday, it was all over. It took three days. The gunman, Molenaar was dead. The siege of Napier was over.

A decent, dedicated and popular local police officer lay dead. Two of his colleagues were drilled with bullets and wounded, and another man, a member of the public who tried bravely to wrestle the gun off Molenaar, was also critically wounded in Hawke's Bay Hospital.

Much is being spoken about the role of the news media over the gripping three days. Certainly, the media descended on Napier in their droves. My wife flew down from Auckland on a mid-afternoon flight on Thursday and said the aircraft was full of them.

I sometimes feel sorry for the news anchor sent to the scene of the siege or the disaster. I did several over the years. For a start, the public do not really like it. It can seem ghoulish, too gleeful. Certainly there was a time when they definitely found it intrusive.

I remember the mauling we got for taking One News and Holmes to Aramoana the day in 1990 they shot David Gray. People there found it too much. This might have changed, however. After all, reporting live from the scene is the way of the world now. It is an effective marketing ploy, creating a sense of your being at the centre of the action.

The truth is, though, the news anchor standing at the cordon is almost always likely to know no more than you do at home. He or she is likely to know no more than the news staff sitting at their screens back in the newsroom in Auckland. It can be quite humiliating for the news or current affairs anchor, which is not to detract from the job Simon, Mark and Mike did this week.

Radio was the star this week, I think. The frantic calls coming in to the talkback station in those first hours of the siege and through subsequent days and nights - local residents, neighbourhood people round the Molenaar house, people trapped in their homes, people cut off from their loved ones - kept the story vibrant and real.

Suddenly, everyone was a news reporter, everyone contributed. The desperation of the callers, the fear many of them expressed, was often moving. Their involvement drew us all in, made us all involved. We were right there with them. It was talkback radio at its finest. And it worked both ways, in that people calling in from inside the cordoned area were able to be heard and to feel that, despite their isolation, they were still part of a community.

I was told, however, that several reporters went to the home of Constable Snee to seek interviews with his wife. This while the poor man's body lay dead and unrecovered outside the gunman's house.

If this is true, it was contemptible behaviour.

The last thing a family needs when it is suffering trauma and grief is a knock on the door from a young, ambitious reporter. Older reporters do not do this kind of thing. Mind you, older reporters, now editors, send the young ones.

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Recently, my mate Nigel took his wife and young son for a camping trip to the beautiful Mahia Peninsula, north of Napier.

Since he came home he has regaled us with stories of Moko, the brilliant people-loving dolphin that has been delighting adults and children on the beach at Mahia since Easter 2007. Moko has been on every major television channel in the world, apparently, so I do not know how I have missed her. But I have.

Moko chases boats, swims around them, under them and comes right into shore and swims and plays among the children. And Moko found Nigel when he was out fishing in his rubber boat and gave him the works.

Round and round, and up and down, head up out of the water, resting it on the side of the rubber boat and chattering away in high-pitched dolphin talk. Nigel spoke to another family who, some time previously, had been in their boat when Moko showed up.

She played around for a while then dived. She came up with a sea horse in her mouth, lifted herself out of the water and dropped the sea horse into their boat and was off again.

Moko became famous when she rescued two pygmy sperm whales from stranding a couple of years back. The whales were being fooled by a shoal a little way off the beach which, as they approached it, made them think that they were heading into shore instead of out to sea.

Out of nowhere came Moko. She got the whales' attention and led them out to sea through a channel she knew about. She has been hanging around and having fun ever since.

This week, there has been something of a row in Hawke's Bay. The Central Hawke's Bay District Council gave permission for a big jet boat and jetski regatta at Mahia. People got very defensive about Moko's safety.

They were thinking Moko might not be able to resist the excitement of fast boats and jetskis and might get too close and collide with very fast hoons on very heavy machines. I hope their fears have not become reality.

What it is about dolphins?

We love them and they appear sometimes to display a genuine affection for us. Strange really, because apart from a few species of shark, we are about their only enemies.

Is that not terrible to contemplate?