The family of the innocent man killed by police during a
motorway shootout in 2009 will receive a compensation package
Police today announced the family of Halatau Naitoko would
receive $100,000 for the hardship and suffering caused by the
17-year-old's death, and a further $25,000 towards legal
That's in addition to $100,000 received shortly after his
death, which was kept confidential until a final settlement
Assistant Commissioner Allan Boreham said police sincerely
and deeply regretted the accidental shooting of Mr Naitoko.
"For our officers, who dedicate their working lives to
helping people, Halatau's death was everything they were
trying to prevent.
"We offer once again our deepest sympathies to his family.
They have conducted themselves with dignity and courage
throughout this ordeal and we are truly sorry for their loss.
"The initial payment we made to Mr Naitoko's family was kept
confidential until the two parties agreed on a final
settlement. It can now be disclosed as part of the overall
Mr Naitoko was killed on Auckland's northwestern motorway in
January 2009. Mr Boreham said police had no option but to
take action to stop Stephen McDonald, who had attempted to
jump onto a moving truck while aiming his gun at two
Mr McDonald was injured but Mr Naitoko, who was driving a
van, was hit by a bullet and killed.
"Police were dealing with a mobile, unpredictable,
drug-fuelled gunman who had threatened members of the public
with a firearm and had fired at police. There was a real
threat to public safety.
"To this day the staff involved remain devastated by Halatau
Naitoko's tragic death."
Mr Boreham accepted police made mistakes during the pursuit.
"We have made changes in line with the recommendations made
by the Independent Police Conduct Authority," Mr Boreham
"These steps will reduce the chances of another tragic
accident occurring during an armed pursuit."
Changes adopted include greater resourcing for the Armed
Offenders Squad in Auckland, more training for communication
centre staff and clarity on the role police helicopters play
Mr Boreham paid tribute to the courage and leadership shown
by Mr Naitoko's mother Ivoni Fuimaono.
"Mrs Fuimaono is a woman of great standing within the South
Auckland community both through her church and her work with
youth programmes," Mr Boreham said.
"She and her family have handled these tragic circumstances
with great humility and dignity."