Bravery Award - Nominations now open

Date: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 00:01 - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 23:59

The New Zealand Police Association Bravery Award recognises exceptional acts of police bravery; the ultimate expression of what is unique about policing.

Bravery Award

As nominations for this year’s Bravery Award open, the Association is encouraging members to think about some of the brave actions they have seen, or are aware of, during the past year and to notify their local committees.

Nominations opened on 1 June and close on 31 July. See below for details on how to make a nomination.

History of the Bravery Award

The Police Association introduced the Bravery Award in 2010 to recognise outstanding acts of bravery by members, and over the years we have given the award to officers whose actions have exemplified the highest standards of policing, on or off duty. The award represents peer recognition of outstanding bravery.

Previous recipients include Inspector Mike O’Leary in 2010, for his bravery in rescuing two children from a burning van.  

In 2011 it was awarded to three recipients. Former Constable Marty Stiles and Constable Mike Wardle, who were involved in an incident in Christchurch during which Senior Constable Bruce Lamb was shot in the face, his police dog, Gage, was killed and his colleague, Constable Mitch Alatalo, was shot in the leg.  A third award was also made, but due to the nature of the police work, the recipient could not be publicly identified.  

No awards were made in 2012 due to no nominated acts being judged to have reached the very high standard needed.  In 2013, Senior Constable Bryan Farquharson and Constable Paul Bailey were recognised for their bravery in rescuing a boy from drowning in heavy surf at a Napier beach. In 2014 we were pleased to name Senior Constable Deane O’Connor, as the award recipient. Senior Constable O’Connor leapt from a bridge into the dark of Tauranga harbour to save a crash survivor.  His decision to leap into the water, without hesitation, unquestionably saved a life. 

In 2015 the award went to two deserving recipients: Constable Ben Turner, of Hamilton, who risked his life to confront a wanted armed man who was threatening a member of the public in a supermarket car park, and Senior Constable Adrian Oldham, of Papamoa, who entered a burning, smoke-filled house to rescue the elderly occupant after she had passed out. 

In 2016 due to operational reasons the award presentation was made in private.

Last year, two officers were honoured. Former senior constable Ross Andrew made a daring cliff descent to help with the rescue of the injured driver of a truck that had crashed through a barrier in the Manawatu Gorge and landed in the river. In Northland, Constable Darren Critchley braved huge seas at Ninety Mile Beach to bring two swimmers to shore, one of whom died.

Nominations open 1 June - closing 31 July

Police Association Bravery Award Nominations open on 1 June and close on 31 July. Acts performed within the year 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 will be considered. 

To be eligible for nomination, a member must have undertaken a specific outstanding act of extraordinary bravery, above and beyond the reasonable expectations of a police officer performing their duty. Reasonable expectations may be higher of a member who is a member of a specialist squad and who is trained and equipped to confront a greater level of danger in the performance of their role. Nominations should take this factor into account.

For further details about which acts of bravery are eligible for nomination and the evaluation criteria, see the Bravery Award Rules

Nominations can be made to your local Association Committee by completing a Bravery Award Nomination Form.

Read the Information for Committees for more about the Bravery Award nomination process.

Remember, nominations close on 31 July 2018.

Evaluation Panel

The current award evaluation panel includes Dame Annette King, Sir Anand Satyanand, District Commander Sam Hoyle, Vice-president Craig Tickelpenny and President Chris Cahill.

About the Award

The New Zealand Police Association Bravery Awards were established to honour outstanding acts of bravery of Police, on or off duty. The award represents peer recognition of outstanding bravery.

The design of the award is based on the sternpost of a Maori waka, traditionally carved to provide guardianship of a journey. The cast bronze sternpost incorporates a Police chevron, and represents the strength, resolve and community guardianship of Police. The sternpost is topped by a flame of pounamu, representing valour and the high value in which the recipient is held.

The recipients of the awards are chosen by a panel made up of prominent people in police and public service, along with the Police Association President. 

To maintain the prestige of the award, reserving it for only the bravest acts, it was envisaged that in some years no nominations would meet the threshold.