Mum of slain police officer Matthew Hunt gives emotional plea for change

Laura James
Source: 1News

The mother of slain police officer Matthew Hunt sat before politicians on Wednesday and said if they don't change the law, her son's death will have been in vain.

"I believe you are sending a clear message to serving front line police officers and other front line workers that you accept being murdered whilst at work is just part of the job," Diane Hunt said.

Her petition was presented to Parliament in December 2020, but on Wednesday, exactly 23 months after her son was murdered, she presented to the Justice Select Committee.

"I started this petition due to my anger and my fear, which is entirely justified, that police officers and other emergency service workers do not have enough protection from the very people they serve".

She said that, "39, 286 people signed my petition and agree with me that if our police are expected to work unarmed, then there needs to be another deterrent in place to stop them being shot at."

She said her son, whose killer was sentenced in July last year to at least 27 years behind bars, is dead because of the New Zealand Police uniform.

Matthew Hunt

Hunt wants to see the Sentencing Act 2002 and Parole Act 2002 amended to automatically decline parole eligibility for offenders convicted of the murder of police officers.

"I would like to include all front line workers", she said today.

"Being a police officer is a job, the pay isn't that good and the work is shift work, our police officers are expected to work unarmed in an increasingly violent country, where armed offenders are prolific."

ACT's Nicole McKee asked Hunt whether she's had any correspondence from the Police Minister on what the Government's looking to advocate for in this space.

She said, "I've had no correspondence from the Minister of Police, nothing."