A $350,000 reward for information that will lead to the finding of a hit-and-run driver who killed New Zealand man Ian Pullen has been offered by the New South Wales Government.

And as officers work to solve the tragedy, Pullen's heart-broken mother has also opened on the "hell" she and her family have endured over the past year.

Pullen, aged 43, died after being hit by a car in the Hunter region a year ago. He was visiting Australia as a fire-fighter at the start of the Hunter region's bushfire season.

About 5.35am on September 29 2018, emergency services were called to Carrington St, Glenridding, after his body was located on the side of the road.


Police inquiries revealed he had been struck and killed by a car, with police saying the driver then fled the scene "without rendering assistance".

On Friday, the New South Wales Government announced the A$350,000 ($376,500) reward for any information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Hunter Valley Police district crime manager, Detective Acting Inspector Steve Benson, said Pullen's family and loved ones in New Zealand deserve answers about what happened.

"Ian was here doing a job – he was here to help our Hunter community during times of natural disaster and crisis," Benson said.

"Detectives have made appeals in the past for people with information about this tragedy to come forward. Today's reward is another opportunity to appeal to those people in the community who have information about Ian's death to let us know.

"Someone in the community knows something, and we're urging them to speak up. We want to provide the Pullen family with closure."

Members of Pullen's family - including his mother Gill - have made an emotional trip across the Tasman ahead of Sunday's anniversary of his death.

The NSW Government has today announced a $350,000 reward for information regarding the hit and run death of 43-year-old...

Posted by NSW Police Force on Thursday, 26 September 2019

"We never thought the last time we said goodbye would actually be the last," she said.


"He was in Australia doing what he loved – ready to help others at the drop of a hat.

"All we want is answers, and hopefully we get some soon."

Pullen was a father of three who died just days before he was to celebrate his 24th wedding anniversary. Speaking soon after his tragic death, Pullen's wife, Vicki, described the hit and run driver as "a coward".

"He was there to keep Singleton safe in case a bush fire broke out and just to save people's lives," she told 7 News at the time. At a media conference on Friday, where the reward was announced, Gill Pullen said the past year had been "hell".

"We can't get closure. We can't go on with a life," she said.

"All I've got now is our memories from my son growing up.

"I carry his ashes around my neck. This has been on there since the day he was cremated. It's never been taken off. This last 12 months has been hell. It really has."

She made an emotional plea urging anyone with information to come forward.

"I mean, I carried my boy for nine months and my body's just been torn. There's a part of me now missing, which I'll never get back," she said. "And somebody coming forward, that's not going to give him back, but at least we might get some closure and we can actually start getting on with our lives again.

"At the moment, we're just in limbo, trying to just live from day to day."

Benson told the media conference that investigators hunting for the driver - who are part of an operation called Strike Force Awabakil - had several leads.

They have previously released a photo of a white ute, with a black bull bar, which they said is similar to the vehicle involved in the hit and run.

"We're hoping that ... this monetary incentive, that it'll bring people to the table to speak with the police, via Crimestoppers," he said.

"We do believe there are people out there in the community who have information directly relating to the incident or have information post the accident, so we'd like to speak to them.

"It's to be remembered that Mr Pullen was a husband, father and family member of three young boys, who are New Zealand residents.

"He was over here helping us out in the fire season as a retained firefighter - that's not lost on the Singleton community."