At the Australia and New Zealand Police Commissioners Conference held in Perth on 26 March 2012, NT Police Commissioner John McRoberts was presented with two plaques to acknowledge and thank the NT Police Force for their response to the Christchurch earthquake disaster in February 2011.
The plaque titled, ‘Commissioner's Commendation’ is from Peter Marshall MNZM, Police Commissioner of New Zealand “in recognition of your outstanding support to the community and the Police district of Canterbury”.
The smaller plaque is from the Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker “in recognition of acts of kindness, service and heroism during and following the Christchurch earthquakes”.
NT Police Commissioner John McRoberts, APM said these plaques will be displayed with pride, not only as a symbol of acknowledgement and appreciation for the assistance NT Police provided, but as recognition for Australian and New Zealand Police Forces working together during times of need regardless of jurisdiction and borders.
“To coordinate 140 Police Officers, eleven of whom were from the Northern Territory so quickly and seamlessly was an excellent example of Police problem solving and getting on with the job at hand that we all signed up to do.
“Our colleagues in New Zealand required Police support from across the Tasman Sea and it was our duty to proudly provide a first class response.
“This effort highlighted that the skills, courage and passion of dedicated Police Officers show no boundaries and are not hindered by jurisdiction or red tape.
“As the NT Police Commissioner, I am proud of the Officers who volunteered to respond and thankful for their families who supported them to leave the Country to help another.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge all the Officers in the NT who backfilled for their colleagues to ensure business continuity and the service delivery for Territorians remained at the highest possible standard.” Commissioner McRoberts concluded.
Four NT Police ‘Disaster Victim Identification’ (DVI) experts were the first official Territory responders on the ground in Christchurch with the challenging task of identifying victims as the death toll continued to rise and aftershocks continued to hit the region.
The next seven NT Police to deploy to the region joined a total of 140 Australian Police Officers who were sworn in as special constables, assisting New Zealand Police with duties such as reassurance patrols and low risk searches of rubble.
Constable Simone Anderson also presented about policing in general to a group of school children at a local school.