My husband deserved respect

The message remains on the phone of Dr Helen Taiaroa. The police officer who calls hasn't practised saying her name beforehand and stumbles in pronouncing "Taiaroa".

It is a name with resonance in Maoridom and the officer's fumbling shows how far he is from the world he is about to shatter.

After almost 43 years married to George Taiaroa, Dr Taiaroa knew her husband was dead even before returning the call to the policeman.