70 days ago

Police pay tribute to fallen officer Matt Ratana

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

Matiu "Matt" Ratana, the New Zealand-born police officer killed in the line of duty in the United Kingdom in October, has been remembered by police with a special rugby game.

Auckland police and Counties Manukau police honoured the "strong rugby boy" on Saturday by playing each other in the inaugural game for the Sgt Matt Matiu Ratana Memorial trophy.

Ratana, 54, worked for both districts while policing in New Zealand.

Ratana, 54, who was originally from Hawke's Bay, was shot dead in a South London custody centre on September 25, allegedly by a man who had been detained, while working for Metropolitan Police.

The trophy was funded by former New Zealand Police colleagues and acknowledges Ratana's rank of sergeant in the Metropolitan Police Service.

It bears a huia feather - the police tradition to honour fallen officers.

Also attached to the trophy are blue and white ribbons showing the colours of Auckland and of Ratana's beloved East Grinstead Rugby Football Club.

The commemorative game will become an annual event for police rugby in Auckland and Counties Manukau.

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