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High Bravery Honours For Two Policemen

High Bravery Honours For Two Policemen

New Zealand Police National News Release

30 September 2008

New Zealand Police is extremely proud and honoured that two officers have been awarded the New Zealand Bravery Star for their courage in capturing armed gunman Graeme Burton on a firebreak above Lower Hutt and Wainuiomata in January 2007.

"The Bravery Star is New Zealand's second highest Royal Honour for acts of outstanding bravery and courage," Police Commissioner Howard Broad said today. "These two fine police officers responded to a fast moving situation in which one man had been fatally shot and others injured.

"Their heroic actions stopped Burton's rampage and protected others from being shot or injured."

The officers seek continued anonymity for security reasons.

Commissioner Broad said it was a measure of the officers' true courage that having initially retreated when faced with the threat of a firearm, they returned to confront Burton in their endeavour to prevent further escalation of violence.

"New Zealand Police is very proud of these two men, the professionalism and courage they took when it mattered most.

"They have not sought recognition for this award, but I know it is a proud day for them both, and for those close to them. Few people know what it is like to be in their shoes."

The Commissioner said that the award is also tinged with sadness for the family of murder victim Karl Kuchenbecker, and the four other members of the public who were threatened by Burton on the firebreak.

The New Zealand Bravery Star, second to the New Zealand Bravery Cross, replaced the George Medal in 1999.


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