Volunteers hailed for assisting sole officer

Kāwhia is a small seaside community with just 650 residents. There are 62 one person police stations in the country and Kāwhia is one of them.

Locals say Constable Perry Griffin is married to a local Māori woman and they are raising their two children there. On Friday night he was assaulted by five men and the due to a lack of support the Fire service was contacted to assist him.

The fire service says it is a regular occurrence for staff to be called on to assist officers who have sole responsibility for small communities. Callan Stewart of the Kāwhia fire service says they are so proud of their team members who were brave enough to go and help the officer when he was in trouble. He says they used the knowledge they had to separate the parties, calm the attackers and administer first aid to those who were in need of assistance at the scene.

What added to the pride was the fact that majority of the fire service workers in smaller communities are volunteers and some of those who attended the call out to assist officer Griffin were doing it purely out of a need to help their community.

Meanwhile police are still looking for two more people believed to be involved in the attack and are asking the public to help identify a man who was seen wearing a blue shirt who ran across the road to knock the officer to the ground.

Mr Griffin is recovering with a sore hip, bruises and grazing to his face and arms but he is keen to get back to work. A public meeting will be held in Kāwhia Community Centre on Tuesday the 15th of January at 7pm.

Reporter: Mihingarangi Forbes.