Family of slain police officer Matthew Hunt arriving from overseas are upset and frustrated at being quarantined away from other family under strict coronavirus measures.
The brother and sister-in-law of Hunt's distraught mother Diane jetted in from Australia yesterday but have been forced into self-isolation for 14 days in Rotorua some 220km away.
Another close family member is also due to arrive from India, the Herald understands.
The enforced quarantines will likely delay 28-year-old Hunt's funeral, New Zealand Police Association president Chris Cahill believes.
After spending time with the young constable's mother this morning, Cahill says splitting up the devastated family is only adding to their grief.
"There's two sides to that whole [quarantine] issue but they are clearly upset by that," he told the Herald.
"They are a grieving family and they want to be there for [Hunt's mother] and she needs them there. It's really adding to the level of grief and frustration she's feeling at the moment.
"A week ago, [maybe] we could've done something. Whether there's some other way of forming some sort of family bubble that protects them but also protects the rest of New Zealand, I don't know the answer. But certainly it's tough for them to have to deal with that added issue on top of their grief."
The Ministry of Health confirmed the Government has activated two new "managed isolation facilities" in Rotorua this weekend after Auckland reached capacity.
Asked why a request by Hunt's family to stay in isolation in Auckland was denied, a ministry spokesman said: "It would be inappropriate to discuss individual returnees, however, all passengers on this flight were moved to Rotorua."
Grieving police officers want to attend Hunt's funeral – and Cahill said they'd also like a memorial service when the time is right – but he told his mother this morning to prioritise her family's wishes over anyone else's.
Hunt, a person of high-integrity whose family say had a "life-long dream" to be a police officer, was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in the West Auckland suburb of Massey on Friday morning.
A 24-year-old man has been charged with Hunt's murder, the attempted murder of a second officer he allegedly shot, and wounding a member of the public who was hit by a car during the tragedy.
The deadly shooting had had a major impact on the police community, Cahill said today.
"They're the same as every other human being – it's the initial impact, the shock, the grief that they suffer," he said.
Some officers were feeling frustrated they couldn't do more to help Hunt's family – while those working on the inquiry "are at least able to be useful", Cahill said.
Cahill said the killing demonstrated risks to officers in "everyday routine policing", highlighting it was not the first time an officer had been shot and killed during a seemingly routine police stop.
"If you go through the history [of fatal police shootings], many of them involve vehicle stops," Cahill said.
He was working in Hawke's Bay when Constable Glenn McKibbin was shot and killed while standing beside his patrol car in Flaxmere on April 21, 1996.
"It's those simple things that can be the most dangerous – and that's what we've been saying," Cahill said.
"There's been a lot of debate recently around why police would need to be armed stopping vehicles, but cops will tell you, most firearms they find are in vehicles. It's the reality of policing, compared to what the public understand that situation is.
"We can't ignore the fact there's a debate to be had and whether the mix of how police access firearms is right. And this incident will have to form part of that, but let's just concentrate on the important stuff for the [Hunt] family first."
- Additional reporting by Emma Russell