Creating a tribute . . . Mary Rose will make a special cross-stitch for slain police offer Mat thew Hunt’s family. PHOTO: GEORGE CLARK

by George Clark

Hobbyist cross-stitcher Mary Rose, of Timaru, has practised the skill of embroidery for the past two decades.

After receiving nationwide recognition for a memorial piece dedicated to police dog Gazza, fatally shot in 2016 during an incident which drew armed police and a helicopter to a neighbourhood north of Wellington, she has set her sights on a memorial for policeman Matthew Hunt.

The 28-year-old Waitemata police officer was shot during a routine traffic stop in the Auckland suburb of Massey on June 19.

Another police officer was also shot in the leg after being fired on more than a dozen times.

The shooting triggered a large manhunt by the police, including the Armed Offenders Squad, across Auckland that ended in the arrests of a 24-year-old man with current name suppression and 30-year-old Natalie Bracken.

Mrs Rose said the memorial piece would involve Constable Hunt in his uniform, standing beside a car.

“The image will have when he was born and when he died, next to it. I need to work out what words I might include. I have thought to add loved son and workmate so far but we will see.”

Her passion for the craft started when her daughter was getting married.

“She felt she needed a ring cushion, so I took it upon myself to create one and have not really put the needle down since.”

Mrs Rose hoped to give Constable Hunt’s family the memorial art by Christmas.