8 May 2009

Napier events dominate papers

6:12 am on 8 May 2009

Events in Napier dominate all the morning newspapers on Friday.

The New Zealand Herald says Senior Constable Len Snee, 53, is being remembered as "one of the good ones" - a rugged but approachable cop for whom no job was too small. He lay dead on a Napier lawn on Thursday, beyond the reach of fellow officers.

Meanwhile, a friend of the gunman named as Jan Molenaar, 51, says he styles himself on Sylvester Stallone's Rambo film character and could have rigged his house with explosives.

Light-armoured vehicles were called in from Waiouru Army base on Thursday night.

The Dominion Post runs the headline 'Officers Down' across a photograph of a man lying injured on Chaucer Road, directly opposite where the gunman opened fire. Soon afterwards, the man was taken away by ambulance.

One person describes Jan Molenaar as a "one-man army", and a friend has told how he bade farewell to his partner as if he "had already accepted his fate".

The Press reports residents of Chaucer Road have been lying low as the seige continued.

Hundreds of residents and schoolchildren were ordered into lockdown and told by police to keep away from windows.

The Otago Daily Times reports people evacuated from the seige area of were put up in hotels and motels on Thursday night.

Napier City Council said 126 people had registered by 9.45pm at Civil Defence welfare centre set up at Napier Intermediate School.

Other news

The Press reports more than 4000 Canterbury people have lost their jobs since Christmas.

The ODT reports Dunedin's mayor and police leaders will be watching to see how the Wanganui District Council deals with its new powers to ban gang patches, to determine whether the legislation could work in Dunedin.