Former constable looks back
SEEING a 30-year-old news clipping of himself sparks a lot of memories for Mike Moriarty.
He was Grey Lynn’s community constable in 1985 and featured in the first edition of the Auckland City Harbour News.
‘‘Working with the community was a high point for me. We got involved in all sorts of events,’’ he says. ‘‘It helped ground you.’’
Moriarty also served as a member of the Armed Offenders Squad and the police anti-terrorist squad, now called the Special Tactics Group.
He was on the front-line of some pivotal moments in Auckland’s history.
Grey Lynn was different in the 1980s. Moriarty’s beat was a gritty working class neighbourhood – but with a real sense of community.
‘‘There were pockets of burglary but not so bad that it required a specific operation,’’ he says.
Homemade heroin, or homebake, had appeared and chemists were being targeted by thieves needing supplies. The names of the local trouble-makers of the day still stick in his mind.
Moriarty talked about his struggle to get residents to join a neighbourhood watch scheme in the first edition of the Auckland City Harbour News.
The bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in June 1985 saw Moriarty briefly called up for his other police duties.
agents Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart were arrested in July 1985, and Moriarty was involved in providing security at the Auckland High Court during their trial.
Moriarty left his Grey Lynn post in 1986 to take up a job with police in the city centre.
He won a bravery award after helping to stop a man wielding a knife on Queen St.
Dramatic photos of the incident ended up in the news. He spoke with the man while another officer came from behind to grab him.
‘‘There were people yelling to [the man]: ‘Watch out for the guy behind you’.’’ He laughs about it now. Moriarty left the police force in 1996 and now works as the national training manager for First Security.
And now: Mike Moriarty fondly remembers his time in Grey Lynn in the 1980s.
Back then: Mike Moriarty featured in the first edition of the Auckland City Harbour News in 1985.