in

New Zealand police perform haka to honour Sergeant Matt Ratana

Police officers in New Zealand performed a haka today in memory of Sergeant Matt Ratana four days after he was shot dead inside a custody centre in London.

The group of officers carried out the traditional Māori dance at Porirua College near Wellington following the shooting last Friday in Croydon, South London.

New Zealander Sgt Ratana, 54, was shot as he was preparing to search a handcuffed suspect who had managed to smuggle a revolver into the custody suite.

Originally from Hawke’s Bay, Sgt Ratana went to the UK in 1989 while in his early 20s and joined the Metropolitan Police in London two years later.

But the much-loved sergeant returned to New Zealand to serve for Auckland City and Counties Manukau police between 2003 and 2008, before going back to Britain.








New Zealander Sergeant Matt Ratana, 54, was shot as he was preparing to search a handcuffed suspect who had managed to smuggle a revolver into a custody suite

New Zealander Sergeant Matt Ratana, 54, was shot as he was preparing to search a handcuffed suspect who had managed to smuggle a revolver into a custody suite

The group of New Zealand police officers carried out the traditional Māori dance at Porirua College near Wellington today following a memorial service

The group of New Zealand police officers carried out the traditional Māori dance at Porirua College near Wellington today following a memorial service

Every new constable at the beginning of their career in the New Zealand police takes part in the haka to the memorial wall at Porirua College (pictured today)

Every new constable at the beginning of their career in the New Zealand police takes part in the haka to the memorial wall at Porirua College (pictured today)

He was remembered in a service that also paid tribute to New Zealand Constable Matthew Hunt, 28, who was killed in a traffic stop in Massey, West Auckland, in June.

Speaking during the service today, New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said: ‘Our recruits will perform a haka to the memorial wall. 

What is the haka and why is it performed?

The haka is an ancient Māori challenge traditionally used as a war dance on the battlefield and when groups came together in peace.

It has its basis in Polynesian culture and is meant to be a display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity.

Actions seen in the dances include foot-stomping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping with a chant.

The words often describe ancestors and events in a tribe’s history. 

Today, the haka is not just used for sport – it can welcome guests or mark achievements and is also performed at special occasions. 

New Zealand sports teams performing a haka before international matches began with the 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team tour and it has been carried on by the New Zealand rugby team since 1905. 

‘This haka ensures the manner of our slain officers never diminishes. Every new constable at the beginning of their career in police takes part in the haka to the wall as Matthew (Hunt) did.

‘The haka says ‘let our hearts beat as one, let our thoughts be united, let our cause be collective’. In my view this very eloquently express why we’re gathered here today.

‘We also take this opportunity to remember London Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matui Ratana who was shot on duty just days ago.

‘Matui was also a part of the New Zealand police family having served with us from 2003 to 2008. Described by former colleagues as a ‘larger than life character’, we remember him today.’ 

The performance was praised on social media today, with West Midlands Police Chief Superintedent Chris Todd tweeting: ‘What an impressive tribute. No need to say anymore…the clip says it all. #RIPMattRatana.’

The Metropolitan Police Federation account added: ‘Colleagues in New Zealand have performed a Haka to remember their fallen colleagues at their Police Remembrance Day service.

‘This year they included Sgt Matt Ratana, of the Metropolitan Police, amongst those they remembered. Thank you.’

It comes after Sgt Ratana’s partner Su Bushby paid tribute to her ‘gentle giant’.

Speaking for the first time since his death, Ms Bushby, his girlfriend of five years, said last night that he had an ‘infectious smile and big heart’.

Yesterday new images surfaced of the 23-year-old alleged gunman as a smartly-dressed Catholic schoolboy – who friends described as being ‘good with weapons’. 

Tributes have been left to Sgt Ratana including rugby shirts and flowers in Croydon today

Tributes have been left to Sgt Ratana including rugby shirts and flowers in Croydon today

Some of the flowers which have been left at Croydon custody centre today following his death

Some of the flowers which have been left at Croydon custody centre today following his death

Louis De Zoysa, of Norbury, South London, remains in a critical condition in hospital with a neck injury after allegedly shooting himself when five shots were discharged while his hands were handcuffed behind his back.

Fund launched in memory of Sgt Ratana 

A fund in memory of Sergeant Ratana was today set up by the Metropolitan Police Hayes Sports Club, known as The Warren, where he was a regular visitor.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by clicking here.

The fund will be administered by the The Warren, which is independent of the Metropolitan Police. However, Scotland Yard said it recognises this is an official fundraising account.

A police spokesman said: ‘The funds will be distributed in Matt’s memory, for his benefit. The Warren will ensure there is appropriate governance of any funds donated. Details of how the money will be distributed will be published by them in due course.’

Such is De Zoysa’s condition, he is yet to be questioned by police in connection with Sgt Ratana’s murder.

Last night former peers from his all-boys school revealed startling details about the ‘odd’ suspect’s life, describing him as an ‘incredibly smart’ aspiring Oxbridge student who was often bullied. 

Alongside Miss Bushby’s tribute, the Metropolitan Police released a poignant image of Sgt Ratana receiving a good service medal from Commissioner Cressida Dick in 2017.

The father of one, a police officer for 29 years, was due for retirement next year.

Miss Bushby, 44, who lived with Sgt Ratana in Worthing, West Sussex, added: ‘There aren’t really any words for how I am feeling right now about the loss of Matt; about losing someone I loved and was so close to in such a tragic manner.

‘I know Matt touched many, many people’s lives with his friendliness, patience, kindness, enthusiasm and caring ways.

‘I had the pleasure of sharing five years of my life with this lovely man – my gentle giant, with his infectious smile and big heart. I think of him with tenderness and love. Matt was my partner, friend, confidant, support and soulmate. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Matt will always be in my head and in my heart.’

On Friday, Commissioner Dick said that Sgt Ratana was a ‘big guy’ with a ‘big heart’. 

She added: ‘He was a talented police officer, captain of his recruits’ training class.

Sergeant Matiu Ratana (pictured with his partner Sue) was allegedly shot by a 23-year-old man who was detained for possession of ammunition at Croydon custody centre in South London

Sergeant Matiu Ratana (pictured with his partner Sue) was allegedly shot by a 23-year-old man who was detained for possession of ammunition at Croydon custody centre in South London

A year from retirement, the inspirational police officer (pictured) had thrown himself into coaching and was looking forward to being able to focus fully on nurturing future rugby stars

A year from retirement, the inspirational police officer (pictured) had thrown himself into coaching and was looking forward to being able to focus fully on nurturing future rugby stars

Louis De Zoysa is suspected of shooting dead the police officer in Croydon last Friday

Louis De Zoysa is suspected of shooting dead the police officer in Croydon last Friday

‘A lovely man, respected by his colleagues, officers, staff and of course by members of the public, including, I may say, suspects arrested or dealt with in custody.

‘He will be remembered so fondly in Croydon and missed there, as well as in the Met and in the rugby world.’

She continued: ‘I do understand that there is great concern about how this happened, how this could have happened. I want to reassure everyone the facts will be established, we owe that to Matt.’

Tributes have also since been paid by Prince Charles and Boris Johnson, with Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan laying wreaths as remembrance services were held across the country.

Sgt Ratana's colleagues view floral tributes at Croydon custody suite in London yesterday

Sgt Ratana’s colleagues view floral tributes at Croydon custody suite in London yesterday

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (centre) joined Home Secretary Priti Patel (left) and London Mayor Sadiq Khan (right) at London's National Police Memorial on Sunday

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (centre) joined Home Secretary Priti Patel (left) and London Mayor Sadiq Khan (right) at London’s National Police Memorial on Sunday

Members of the East Grinstead rugby club in West Sussex where Sgt Ratana was head coach linked arms as they laid his club jacket on the pitch and held a minute's silence on Sunday

Members of the East Grinstead rugby club in West Sussex where Sgt Ratana was head coach linked arms as they laid his club jacket on the pitch and held a minute’s silence on Sunday

Yesterday, dozens of forensics officers could be seen trawling the £700,000 family home of De Zoysa as Scotland Yard continued their murder investigation.

Another man was arrested in Norwich on Sunday on suspicion of supplying a firearm as part of the murder investigation.

Armed police have also searched a farm property in the Banstead area of Surrey which was a former ammunitions dump during the Second World War.

On Saturday, officers carried out a controlled explosion to enter a building on the site. 

Source link

Police refuse to apologise after failed bid to prosecute learner driver for overshooting red light

Taiwan threatens to punish its pop stars for singing pro-Beijing songs on Chinese TV show