Māori and Police in partnership
Police are committed to building strong, dynamic, and effective relationships with Māori to deliver services that whānau Māori and our communities expect and deserve.
This includes building our understanding of the aspirations of Iwi, whānau and communities and supporting the achievements of those aspirations.
Commitment to Māori and the Treaty
Police are committed to being responsive to Māori as tangata whenua and understand the value and importance of the Māori Crown relationship and honouring the Treaty of Waitangi as New Zealand’s founding document.
Police continue to work to understand how as an organisation, we can be a more proactive and an inclusive partner for iwi Māori.
Improving our Service Delivery through enhanced cultural competency of our people
New Zealand is a diverse and multicultural organisation. To enable effective and appropriate responsive policing, Police are continuously looking for ways to advance the skills and knowledge of our people through various experiences and learning environments.
Key to this is delivering training on Te Ao Māori, Tikanga, Te Reo Māori, Treaty of Waitangi, Declaration of Independence as well as increasing bicultural knowledge, skills and comfort of staff in engaging with our communities.
Police value diversity and recognise the need to reflect the communities we serve within our Police whānau.
Police are working towards
- increasing the representation of Māori into and throughout the organisation.
- Increased diversity allows for a variety of ideas, lens and approaches to be discussed and designed to better enable the delivery of our service for Māori.
- The ability to understand and walk in Te Ao Māori confidently is valued and appreciated. If you are interested in becoming a cop, contact us now through our New Cops website!
Te Huringa o Te Tai is Police’s strategy built by listening to whānau, hapū, community, and iwi and our people.
This strategy acknowledges the whakapapa of ‘The Turning of the Tide’ and builds on the successes and the lessons learnt from the past to ensure Police can work better with iwi Māori to support their aspirations for their people and our communities.
Police values our commitment to Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi and the benefits that will be yielded through successfully honouring the relationships with Māori and our communities.
This strategy is embedded within that the strategic structure of Police to best enable our mission, ‘to be the Safest Country’. To achieve our mission, we need to support the achievement of the vision of Te Huringa O Te Tai, of:
All Māori living full and prosperous lives, free from crime, victimisation, and road trauma.
Why do we need this strategy?
Te Huringa O Te Tai is the strategic plan for NZ Police to achieve Our Business. The strategy, whilst having a direct impact for Māori, will produce benefits for all New Zealanders through improved service delivery and reducing the impact of crime and victimisation for all.
We understand that a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not deliver a long-term sustainable solution; our approach needs to ensure that we have a shared understanding of:
What Māori need Police to do to support their whānau who have offended and/or suffered harm to create a pathway to waiora.
And that we continue to ask:
- How well do Māori think Police are delivering that service?
- If Police were to do better, what would this look like for Māori?
This strategy aspires to achieve the following outcomes
- Māori are treated with respect, fairness and cultural understanding when interacting with Police.
- Police influence public discourse to reduce social stigma and normalisation of Māori offending.
- Reduced impact from facilitators of crime through evidence-based deployment.
- Victims of crime are supported to keep themselves safe from further harm
- Police address the root cause of issues that cause repeat offending
- Increase in effectiveness of interventions with first/second times offenders
- Influence on legislative, policy and system settings across government to reduce the prejudicial effect on Māori
- Partnerships with whānau, hapū, iwi and Matawaka to improve long term wellbeing for Māori who come to Police intention
- Māori who have a history of intergenerational harm are supported to break the cycle.
To achieve those outcomes, and direct our focus, the strategy is structured under three strategic pou:
- Pou Mataara - Our people and their mind-set
Focus on building our people, their skills, knowledge, mind-set and performance, to deliver better and more effective outcomes for Māori, iwi, and our communities.
- Pou Mataaho - Effective initiatives and improved practice
Focus on a whānau ora approach of co-design and joint delivery with Iwi Māori. Use evidence-based approach to concentrate efforts on programmes that have proved successful or have the potential to be successful for Māori.
- Pou Hourua - Effective partnerships
Focus on building relationships, which lead to more effective partnerships, with iwi, Māori and other organisations.
This strategy aims to deliver a number of initiatives under the three pou to ultimately improve the wellbeing and lives of Māori which will contribute to the wellbeing of all New Zealanders. This strategy is about whānau - about all of us.
We will know we have been successful when:
- Māori feel they are treated with respect, fairness and cultural understanding when interacting with Police.
- Police are upskilled and more readily able to access a range of options to support whānau in times of need
- Partnerships with whānau, hapū, iwi and mātāwaka, live up to the joint expectations of those partners, to improve long term wellbeing for Māori who come to Police attention.
- Our shared vision is realised
- Whānau are achieving their dreams and aspirations because they are enabled to make choices which enhance their individual and collective waiora.
- We collectively recognise the changes we have made in ourselves, our systems, processes and decisions have produced positive impacts for Māori.
- There is a reduction in offending and reoffending by Māori
- There is a reduction in the harm experienced by Māori
- There is a reduced impact from facilitators of crime on Māori.
Engaging Māori in culturally responsive policing
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.
This forum is known as the Commissioner’s Māori Focus Forum and includes a variety of members representing our Māori community.
The group helps guide policing strategy in regard to Māori and provides advice on current issues of concern to whānau, hapū, community, and iwi, and strengthens the consultative environment and partnership between Māori and Police.
The Māori Focus Forum helped develop and co-design Te Huringa O Te Tai with Police. The forum plays a governance role and helps oversee the strategy’s implementation.
This forum will not only recognise the special nature of the relationship between Māori people and a Crown agency, but will also provide a direct link between the Police and the aspirations of Māori.
Current members of the Māori Focus Forum are:
- Arihia Stirling
- Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi
- Selwyn Parata
- Ta Toby Curtis
- Neville Baker
- Paora Stanley
- Rahui Papa
- Bishop Kitohi Pikaahu
- Dr Ihakara Puketapu
- Ta Mark Solomon
- Lisa Tumahai
- Dame Naida Glavish
- Harry Mikaere
- Harry Burkhardt
- Shane Graham
- Michelle McDonald
- Howie Tamati
- Rikirangi Gage
- Ngahiwi Tomoana
Becoming an Iwi Liaison Officer
Police have a group of iwi liaison officers who play an important role in navigating cultural issues and working on improving police relationships with Māori.
The group is made up of police officers and police employees, based in every police district in the country.
Iwi liaison officers are involved in:
- giving advice on cultural issues, such as helping both sides understand the procedures and protocols of the other when a sudden death happens
- helping local police work with iwi and whānau on preventing crime, crashes and victimisation
- providing leadership for special events such as Waitangi Day and Māori cultural events
- dealing with the cultural aspects of major incidents like the Canterbury earthquakes
- helping with major criminal investigations involving Māori.
Becoming an Iwi Liaison Officer is a rewarding and satisfying way of serving Māori and the wider community.
Iwi Liaison Officers are key in building positive relationships and partnerships with Māori.
Iwi Liaison Officers help support Police’ commitment to the treaty and the delivery of Police’s goals: Safe Homes - free from crime and victimisation; Safe Roads - preventing deaths and injury with our partners; Safe Communities - people are safe wherever they live, work and visit.
To become an Iwi Liaison Officer
- You can either apply to join Police and become a police officer. This will allow you to choose a career path including the option of becoming an Iwi Liaison Officer that has an understanding and knowledge of policing. Please visit the New Cops website for more information.
- You can also join Police as a civilian employee. You will learn what you need to know about policing from training and on the job. See the Police Jobs pages for any vacancies.
Having the knowledge and understanding of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori is an advantage as this will help you in building strong relationships with our Māori, Iwi and Whānau.
Other requirements include a police vetting check and a children work security check may be needed.