The mother of Constable Matthew Hunt has launched a petition - on what would have been his 29th birthday - calling for the Government to refuse parole for all offenders jailed for killing police officers.

Diane Hunt says the current laws "do not adequately condemn" the slaying of police on duty and she is pleading for "urgent" change.

Constable Hunt - who would have turned 29 today - was gunned down during a routine traffic stop on Reynella Drive in Massey on June 19.

He was shot multiple times with a long-barrelled gun, which the Herald understands was a high-powered assault rifle.


Hunt's college was also shot several times but managed to get away and survived the attack.

Diane Hunt this week launched a petition to keep anyone convicted of murdering a police officer in prison for life.

Currently, a person convicted of murder becomes eligible for parole after 10 years - or after their court-imposed minimum non-parole period ends.

But the grieving mother is calling for those who kill officers to stay locked up for life.

She is asking that the House of Representatives "urgently amend" the Sentencing Act 2002 and Parole Act 2002 to "automatically decline parole eligibility for offenders convicted of the murder of police officers".

She called for the change in memory of her "beloved son".

"My son lost his life while serving his country," she said.


"If you truly believe what was said by numerous politicians after Matthew's death that police lives matter, passing this legislation should be done without delay.

"I believe our sentencing laws for murder do not adequately condemn the actions that result in the murder of police officers."

The petition launched on Tuesday and closes on September 1.

To sign the petition - click here.

Today Diane Hunt posted on Facebook to honour her son on what should have been his birthday.

The Herald has been given permission by the family to publish her words.


"Today is Matthew's 29th birthday. Rather than being able to celebrate my son's day I have started a petition which has been lodged with Parliament asking for parole and sentencing reform for the murder of police officers in New Zealand," she wrote.

"Matthew deserved a life. He had so much to live for.

"He loved serving his country as a police officer, a role he thrived in.

"I have started this petition to offer a level of safety to our 14,000 serving police officers, Matthew's police family.

"If you feel the same please sign the petition and share. Thank you.

"We love you Matthew. This should never have happened."


Diane Hunt's brother Rob Winterbottom told the Herald that the government had a duty to keep police safe.

"New Zealand police officers do not carry firearms to protect themselves," he said.

":We must provide them with some form of protection.

"The deterrent of a life sentence, without parole, provides us this.

"It ensures that people who kill police officers will never be released again."

Two people are before the courts, charged in relation to the fatal shooting.


A 24-year-old man is charged with murdering Hunt, attempting to murder the other police officer and wounding a member of the public as he allegedly fled the scene in a car.

The car was allegeldy driven by Natalie Bracken, 30.

She is facing a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact, by enabling the accused killer to leave the scene in a car and avoid arrest.

Constable Matthew Hunt is carried into funeral by close friends. Photo / NZ Police
Constable Matthew Hunt is carried into funeral by close friends. Photo / NZ Police

Both Bracken and the man - who has interim name suppression - have pleaded not guilty to the charges and will go on trial in July next year.