Murdered cop Matt Ratana's former colleagues in New Zealand pay respects by performing touching Haka

MURDERED cop Sgt Matt Ratana's ex-colleagues in New Zealand have today performed a powerful and emotional Haka tribute to their former officer.

The force performed the traditional routine as a mark of respect for the 54-year-old who died in hospital on Friday after he was shot in the chest at Croydon Custody Centre.

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He was allegedly gunned down by suspect Louis De Zoysa, who was still handcuffed at the time, as officers prepared to search him using a metal detector.

Video footage of the tribute was posted on the PS Matt Ratana Memorial Group Facebook page.

The clips shows around 30 uniformed officers standing outside Porirua College near Wellington as one officer leads the rest of them in the Maori dance.

Originally from Hawke's Bay, Sgt Ratana arrived in the UK in 1989 and joined the Metropolitan Police two years later.

HAKA TRIBUTE

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

"This haka ensures the manner of our slain officers never diminishes.

"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 haka says 'let our hearts beat as one, let our thoughts be united, let our cause be collective'.

The officers were also paying tribute to New Zealand Constable Matthew Hunt, 28, who was killed in Massey, West Auckland, in June.

The heartfelt footage was posted and captioned: "PS Matt Ratana's former colleagues in NZ have performed the traditional Haka as a mark of respect for PS Matt Ratana and their other colleagues such as Constable Matthew Hunt. #RIP."

De Zoysa, from Norbury, South London, is said to have shot himself after the incident and remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Sgt Ratana's partner Su Bushby, has also paid tribute to her husband, who would have been eligible for retirement in two months.

She said: “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.

'GENTLE GIANT'

“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 soul mate. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Matt will always be in my head and in my heart.”

The Croydon Metropolitan Police Service twitter account later replied to the heartfelt tribute.

It said: “Thank you for your support. We were privileged to have him here in the UK.

“Through his love of the all black and rugby as a whole in addition to so many other wonderful things, we would never forget his heritage and his kiwi roots.”

De Zoysa was known previously to counter-terrorism officials and had previously been referred to the government's Prevent programme, which is designed to stop people joining extremist groups and carrying out terrorist activities.

Another man was arrested in Norwich on suspicion of supplying a firearm.

The IOPC is examining CCTV and police bodycam footage to establish how exactly the shooting took place but said De Zoysa was in handcuffs during the incident, with his hands behind his back.









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