Māori and Police working together

Translate into Māori

Treaty of Waitangi commitment

Police are committed to being responsive to Māori as tangata whenua, recognising the Treaty of Waitangi as New Zealand's founding document.

Police put the Treaty into action in three main ways.

Article One (Kawanatanga)

  • Improving Police capability to address Māori issues, as a requirement of being an active and engaged Treaty partner.

Article Two (Tino Rangatiratanga)

  • Enabling iwi to have ownership of decision making that affects Māori. Creating strong relationships with tangata whenua in order for Police and Māori to jointly reduce offending and victimisation within Māori communities.

Article Three (Ōritetanga)

  • Ensuring Māori have access to justice and receive equal treatment before the law.

Training in Māori culture and protocol

Frontline police staff are trained in Māori culture and protocol. This begins at the Royal New Zealand Police College where recruits are trained in:

  • the Police commitment to Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi - why it's a core Police value and what that means for them as constables
  • correct pronunication of Te Reo
  • the protocols of engaging with Māori families when a sudden death occurs.

More advanced training is provided to senior staff when they return to the Royal New Zealand Police College for specialist courses.

Māori participation in policing

Māori Focus Forum

The Commissioner of Police has a group of senior kaumatua and kuia who meet with him regularly to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern. Known as the Commissioner's Māori Focus Forum, the group helps guide policing strategy in regard to Māori and provides advice on issues of the moment. The Māori Focus Forum developed The Turning of the Tide with help from Police. The forum plays a governance role and helps oversee the strategy's implementation.

Current members of the Māori Focus Forum are:

  • Selwyn Parata
  • Sir Mark Solomon
  • Neville Baker
  • Harry Mikaere
  • Koroneihana Cooper
  • Dame Dr Iritana Tawhiwhirangi
  • Dr Toby Curtis
  • Naida Glavish
  • Dick Shepherd
  • Dr Kara Puketapu

District Māori Advisory Boards

Each police district has its own District Māori Advisory Board made up of representatives of local iwi. The Boards help police commanders with strategy and issues at local level.

Māori Wardens Project

The Māori Wardens Project is a joint venture with Te Puni Kōkiri and Police. The project provides training and support to an increasing number of Māori wardens throughout New Zealand.

Māori wardens are involved in a range of activities such as:

  • curbing unruly behaviour and diffusing tensions
  • caring for rangatahi
  • security at events and in public places, street patrols
  • walk-throughs at licensed premises
  • hospital visits
  • Court attendance and support.

If you are interested in becoming a warden, visit the Te Puni Kōkiri website to find your local and regional Te Puni Kōkiri offices.

Research opportunities

New Zealand Police is interested in working with people who wish to undertake research on topics involving Māori, including (but not limited to):

  • effective programmes for specific types of offending (eg shoplifting)
  • recruitment, retention and promotion of Māori in Police
  • ethnic representation in the criminal justice system
  • relationships between Police and Māori
  • explaining patterns in victimisation and offending among Māori
  • service provision to Māori victims and offenders
  • effectiveness of initiatives to address victimisation and offending among Māori.

Find out more about New Zealand Police research application requirements.

For more information about research with Police:
P (04) 474 9465 E research@police.govt.nz