Heroic cop honoured for courage under fire

Nelson-based officer receives bravery award

SIOBHAN DOWNES
Last updated 15:55 18/03/2014
Michael Wardle
FAIRFAX NZ
BRAVERY REWARDED: Nelson police officer Michael Wardle receives his New Zealand Bravery Medal from Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.

Relevant offers

A hero police officer who faced a gunman after two of his colleagues had been shot was among those honoured at Government House in Wellington today.

Sergeant Michael Wardle was presented with a New Zealand Bravery Decoration for an act of exceptional bravery in a situation of danger.

In 2010, then-constable Wardle attended what was supposed to be a routine search for cannabis at a Christchurch flat.

Instead, a man came out firing, wounding two other officers and fatally shooting police dog Gage.

As the gunman turned his rifle on Wardle, the police officer confronted him with a Taser, giving the others a chance to escape.

Wardle is now based in Nelson, where he was promoted to sergeant, with his wife and three children.

Speaking after the investiture ceremony, Wardle remained humble about his actions.

"It's really cool to be recognised - but obviously the flip side to that is something terrible had to happen for it," Wardle said.

"I think for myself, really now it's closure."

After "a lot of soul searching", he had come to accept he and his fellow officers had done the best job they could that day.

"We did a lot right, but unfortunately you can't get everything right, and you can't plan for these things."

Other heroes honoured at the ceremony were Mark Allen and Kenneth Reilly, who rescued a woman from a burning vehicle after a head-on car crash in North Canterbury in 2011.

Both were presented with New Zealand Bravery Medals.

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae gave a special mention to the recipients of the bravery awards in his closing speech, and said they had demonstrated "one of the greatest of all human qualities - compassion".

Ad Feedback

- Nelson

Special offers
Opinion poll

Does Nelson deserve to be classed as a city?

Yes

No

Don't know/Don't care

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content