A police officer attacked in south Auckland on Saturday night will undergo surgery this week and is expected to make a full recovery.
Sergeant Simon Tate, 42, remained in Auckland City Hospital where he was taken after the attack in which he was kicked and beaten unconscious. His injuries included broken eye sockets and cheek bones, and a crushed throat.
His partner, Lisa Ross, also a police officer, said Tate was able to sit up and talk to friends and family today.
"We hope that some light may be shed on the extent of his injuries following surgery this week, and then we will have a better idea of the recovery process to expect."
Tate's friends and family have flooded Facebook with messages of support.
Ross said on Facebook she was "blown away" by the support that had been shown to her and to Tate from members of the public, other officers and friends and family.
"Simon looks a lot better. . . is settled and sleeping. Simon will be blown away with all the support its truly amazing and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts," she wrote.
Detective Inspector Jim Gallagher said it was hoped Tate would make a full recovery and "ultimately return to Police duties".
Gallagher said police were working to support his colleagues who were said to be traumatised by the attack on Tate, who had 15 years experience as a policeman.
Gallagher said the attack happened about 11.20pm on Saturday after Tate was responding to call about a disturbance at the Manukau Sports Bowl.
He and was driving in the area when he was waved down and told that a woman was in trouble in a car.
He found and followed the car before stopping it on Sandrine Ave and talking to the driver and then to the female passenger.
However as he was speaking to the passenger the policeman was "struck from behind with a powerful blow from a fist''.
''He was dropped to the ground and punched and kicked profusely for what seems to be a lengthy period of time," Gallagher said.
Gallagher said if it were not for two women who came to the officer's aid, the result could have been much worse.
The officer was left in a "very severe state of unconsciousness with laboured breathing" and was bleeding from the head.
Alleged attacker Walter Tauatevalu, 36, a youth worker, appeared in the Manukau District Court this morning charged with attempted murder and two counts of male assaults female.
He was remanded in custody to appear in the High Court at Auckland later this month.
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