August 07, 2014
Police Conduct Authority backs Opunake shooting
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has backed the fatal shooting of Antony Ratahi in a hostage situation at an Opunake hotel in July 2011.
The authority chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers, says police were faced with an incredibly dangerous situation and courageously put their own lives at risk to ensure the safety of the hostage, who was Mr Ratahi's former partner.
At the time of the incident Mr Ratahi was not long out of prison after serving a three-month sentence for assaulting the woman, who was referred to as Ms Z.
After obtainng an air pistol, he went to the Headland Hotel where Ms Z worked there as a waitress and and demanded everyone but her to leave or be shot.
Police sealed off the hotel, and after a 12-hour seige Mr Ratahi was shot by a Special Tactics Group officer who thought he was reaching in his jacket for a gun.
Judge Carruthers says the officer believed Mr Ratahi posed an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm to his hostage, the officers nearby and the officer himself.
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