TODAY |

Mike Bush hangs up blue uniform on last day as Police Commissioner

It's his last day as Police Commissioner, but don't expect Mike Bush to disappear any time soon as he continues to lead the operational task force fighting Covid-19.

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Police Commissioner Mike Bush has lead the way in events like Whakaari/White Island and the mosque attacks. Source: 1 NEWS

He's been an officer for 42 years and in the top job for the last six, helping the country through events like the Whakaari/White Island eruption and Christchurch mosque attacks.

This isn't how he expected to spend his last day, addressing a country in lockdown and no retirement party.

But there will be time later to reflect on a career that has spanned many decades..

Based in Thailand in 2004, he was the first New Zealander on the scene of the Boxing Day tsunami.

Since becoming commissioner six years ago, the last 13 months has seen its fair share of incidents.

Mr Bush still remembers hearing about the Christchurch mosque attacks for the first time.

"It's one phone call you never want to take," he told 1 NEWS.

But he praised his officers who took down the shooter, stopping him from unleashing more violence.

"That will always stay with me, and it'll stay with everyone, I think, in the community, because it's a wonderful example of police officers and their courage, putting themselves between harm and others."

While the public might remember him from high-profile events, it's another moment that sticks in his mind.

Xin Xin Mma was just five when she was kidnapped for ransom outside her Auckland home. 

"She was kept in a wardrobe for five days, on her own, locked up and taped up," Mr Bush says.

"And it took us five days of some of the best police work that I've ever seen to find her and bring her to safety.

"Freeing her is an image that will always stay with me. The work we did, I believe, saved her life."

And Mr Bush will continue working to save lives in a new role, heading up the Government's virus taskforce.