Police celebrate march inception
The spine-tingling sound of bagpipes spread through the streets of west Auckland on Friday.
Hundreds of bystanders stood still as police from around the Waitemata district marched through Henderson.
The Waitemata Police District hosted its inaugural pay parade on June 23.
Led by the Auckland Police Pipe Band, three motorbikes and a patrol car, more than 150 police officers paraded in their number one uniform through the town centre.
For the first time police from Waitakere, Rodney and the North Shore combined into one event.
Superintendent Tusha Penny had encouraged the public to witness the ‘‘unique occasion’’.
‘‘Police officers are the guardians of our community and the pay parade provides our staff with a great opportunity to present at our best for our communities,’’ she said in a media release.
The parade began at 319 Great North Rd at 10am.
Despite rain threatening to put a damper on spirits, police marched towards and then down Henderson Valley Rd, before standing at attention outside the Auckland Council chambers to be inspected prior to an awards ceremony.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush inspected the group, before about 20 police performed a haka.
The pay parade tradition harks back to the 1800s when police used to be inspected at the station, before marching to the magistrate’s office to receive their pay every fortnight.
It also included police dogs, horses and motorbikes.
Hobsonville Primary School’s Moses Faleolo, 11, and Yee Zhao, 4, walked hand-in-hand with Penny.
The march was attended by Superintendent John Tims, Minister of Defence Mark Mitchell, and sworn and non-sworn police staff.
An awards ceremony was held at the council chambers at 11am.
Waitakere Sergeant William Lawrence received a District Commanders Commendation Award for brave actions while off duty.
Lawrence recently approached two men under the influence of alcohol attempting drive away from a liquor store.
He stopped them from using a vehicle, before being assaulted by the driver. Lawrence was able to detain the man until on duty officers arrived.