The two-hour drama City Under Siege will tell the story of Jan Molenaar’s 50-hour standoff with police in Napier in May 2009, in which he killed Senior Constable Len Snee and injured officers Bruce Miller and Grant Diver and civilian Len Holmwood before taking his own life.
Key players in the siege have given their cautious backing to the production, with Snee’s widow Vicki saying it was important that it was an accurate portrayal.
Holmwood, who stopped Molenaar killing two police officers, said he would take part in the project.
“They’re going to interview me and do parts with actors and parts with actual people. I’ll just be giving my side of the story … again.
“I’m not against it. I think it’s important we get a look at the final cut before they release it.
“I’m a bit over it now, but it is a major part of our history, I suppose. I suppose if I wasn’t a bit more involved I’d be more enthusiastic.”
Molenaar’s father, Paul, 77, said he had been approached to take part but was not interested.
“I have never included myself in the whole story. I stayed well clear of it.
“I will watch it if I can, but I would rather not get involved because it’s been such a nasty thing. It’s affected us all very much.”
Diver said he would “like to forget all about it but I can understand the public wants to know what happened.
“It was the worst day of my life. The fact you have to relive things doesn’t help, but the main thing is to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Eastern District commander Superintendent Sam Hoyle, who led the police operation, backed the production.
“The event itself was a significant one for New Zealand police and Napier. It’s important we document accurately all the events of the siege and the days that followed, provided it’s done with the proper respect for those who were impacted.
“I think it’s a good thing for the police and a good thing for Napier.”
City Under Siege is produced by Screentime, maker of Police Ten-7 and Beyond the Darklands, and supported by NZ On Air’s Platinum Fund.
Screentime executive director Philly de Lacey said the drama would be filmed in Napier over five continuous weeks later this year. It was unclear whether there would be filming at Molenaar’s house, handed to the Crown under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Molenaar’s partner, Delwyn Keefe, was yet to be contacted.