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4 November 2020
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick led the tributes at the funeral of Sergeant Matiu Ratana (54), the Metropolitan police officer who was shot and killed at a custody station in Croydon on 25 September.
Sergeant Ratana’s family, friends and colleagues bid him an emotional goodbye today (Wednesday 4 November) at a private ceremony led by Reverend Prebendary Jonathan Osborne MBE, Senior Chaplain, Metropolitan Police Service, and Te Reo Māori speaker the Venerable Jo Kelly-Moore, Archdeacon of Canterbury.
The ceremony reflected aspects of the life of a man who loved his family, Māori heritage, rugby, the gym, and his policing career and colleagues.
Dame Cressida Dick said: “Matt was a great police officer; he was a brilliant sergeant and he was a lovely man. What made him a great police officer…was his joyous personality and his big, lion’s heart.”
Speaking about Sergeant Ratana’s early years in the Force, Dame Cressida Dick said, “I think he fell on his feet. The MET suited him, and we were so lucky to have him.
“His legacy in policing will live on in all those he has encouraged, trained and taught, and the inspiration he has been to policing people now and in the future.
“We’ll miss you. We love you. We honour you. And to quote one of your teams, whom you loved, and who loved you dearly, ‘We’ll take it from here, sarge.”
There were also emotional words ‘from across the world’ from Sergeant Ratana’s family in New Zealand, who said: “we take comfort in the knowledge that he is surrounded by people who love him just as much as we do”.
“We have an ancient proverb passed down through the generations: Hinga atu he tētē kura, ara mai he tētē kura - ‘When one leader passes away, another rises up to take their place’.
“As harrowing as it has been, we have been delighted to reconnect with Matt’s son Luke. We are proud that he is a police officer like his father and will make sure he knows about his ancestry and traditions.”
Matt’s son Luke spoke of the positive impact Sergeant Ratana had on the community, his love of rugby and the All Blacks team, and asked that “people will come together, comfort one another, and take strength from the happy memories of dad’s life.”
The ceremony concluded with a haka, the traditional Māori cultural dance performed at significant event: in this case, to honour Sergeant Ratana.