Flags fluttered at half mast outside Northland police
stations marking the death of a senior policeman known by
many as "one of the good guys" yesterday.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Clubley, 49, died in Whangarei
Hospital early yesterday morning after suffering serious head
and neck injures in a fall from a bike on the Whangarei BMX
track at Pohe Island on Sunday.
Police are still investigating the crash and would not
comment further on the circumstances.
The death has stunned many who worked with Mr Clubley, who
was also known by colleagues as "Clubs".
Mr Clubley had been in the police for 29 years, serving 24 of
those in Whangarei. The father of three had been heading the
child protection squad but over the years had led hundreds of
investigations as part of the Criminal Investigation Branch.
Northland Police District Commander Superintendent Russell Le
Prou said he had told staff of the tragic death at a meeting
at Whangarei Station yesterday. The mood at the station had
been very sombre.
"You become very close to your colleagues because it's that
type of job and this was a huge shock," Mr Le Prou said.
"Often we deal with chaos but he would bring order to chaos.
It's a special person who can give 29 years' service to the
community. He was one of life's good guys."
Detective Senior Sergeant Dene Begbie, who had worked with Mr
Clubley for 18 years, remembered him as a man always willing
to help others.
"He drew respect from colleagues and no matter what the
situation was he remained calm and a was a bloody good man."
Criminal investigations manager Detective Inspector Kevin
Burke said Mr Clubley was very controlled and methodical in
his work and explored all options and provided sound
"Not only did he serve the police well, victims of crime
could rest assured they were being well looked after."
Northland's Crown Solicitor Mike Smith said the law office
was shocked and stunned after hearing about Mr Clubley's
"For many of us he was also our friend and we will miss him,"
Mr Smith said.
"He exemplified the finest traditions of the police. He was
one of the good guys and will be sadly missed."
The club that owns the bike tracks at Pohe Island in
Whangarei, where two cyclists have died in serious crashes is
undecided on what, if any, additional safety measures are
needed to prevent further injury or fatality in future.
The Whangarei BMX Club's committee met on Tuesday evening and
issues such as additional signs, fencing of the BMX track and
gates over the ramps were expected to be discussed.
However, club president John Romer said his members were
grieving for Mr Clubley and trying to cope with the situation
rather than thinking about safety measures at the track. Mr
Clubley's funeral will be on Saturday.
- Kristin Edge of the Northern Advocate