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Bravery awards for police who saved mate

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Last updated 17:30 26/03/2014
COPS BRAVERY
MICHAEL BRADLEY/Fairfax NZ

HONOURED: (L-R) Detective Gregory Cater, Constable James Collins, Detective Constable Edward Luxford, Constable Johan Mulder, Constable Liam Pham, Sergeant Christopher Turnball and Constable Andrew Warne after recieving their NZBM awards from Governor-General.

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When a team of police officers went in to save a mate and put their own lives at risk during an Auckland shooting, no one was thinking about getting a bravery medal.

But the seven members of the police force were honoured today at an investiture ceremony at Government House in Auckland.

On December 22, 2009, a police constable was shot four times and suffered life-threatening injuries at a house in Papatoetoe. He collapsed in the yard of the property which was at the end of a long shared driveway.

The team could have waited for the armed offenders squad, but chose to carry the injured officer out, putting themselves at risk. They had no idea where the offenders were.

Constable James Collins said the night was "pretty surreal. I remember him screaming and thinking, 'just hurry up and get there'." 

Sergeant Chris Turnbull said it was a huge privilege to be recognised.

"It's a very special moment for the boys. It's quite cool that we could do it together."

He said he was just doing his job and didn't think much about it at the time. The group would celebrate with "just a quiet beverage".

Turnbull and Collins were honoured with the New Zealand Bravery Medal along with Detective Gregory Cater, Detective Constable Edward Luxford, Constable Johan Mulder, Constable Liam Pham and Constable Andrew Warne.

Among others honoured today was Sir David Moxon for services to the Anglican Church. He was knighted after a life of service to the church since 1978.

Moxon said he was surprised to find out he was being knighted but thought it was "a way of recognising the hundreds of people who worked together to make a Christian presence in New Zealand."

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- Fairfax Media

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