Māori and Police working together

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Commitment to Māori and the Treaty

Police is committed to being responsive to Māori as tangata whenua and understands 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.

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.

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.

Engaging Māori in culturally responsive 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. 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
  • Paora Stanley
  • Rahui Papa
  • Bishop Kitohi Pikaahu
  • Ta Mark Solomon
  • Lisa Tumahai
  • Dame Naida Glavish
  • Harry Mikaere and
  • Harry Burkhardt
  • Shane Graham
  • Michelle McDonald
  • Howie Tamati
  • Rikirangi Gage
  • Ngahiwi Tomoana
  • Pru Kapua
  • Monty Morrison
  • Helmut Modlik
  • Kura Moeahu

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