Australian police farewelled from Christchurch

7:38 am on 24 March 2011

The final contingent of Australian police was formally farewelled from Christchurch on Wednesday night, ahead of their departure on Friday.

About 300 police officers from throughout Australia began arriving in Christchurch in the days after the earthquake.

Police Commissioner Howard Broad thanked them at a ceremony in the city and they were all gifted a piece of pounamu.

Superintendent Gavan Ryan of the Australian Federal Police says the whole journey has been humbling.

He says the blessings and the comradeship from the New Zealand Police and the wider community have been overwhelming.

And he says it has been an absolute privilege to assist Christchurch in its time of need.