‘māku koe e awhi’ – ‘I will help you’

In te reo Māori, awhi means to care for, embrace and cherish – to help or support others.

In Police, AWHI is a tikanga-based voluntary referral used to offer help through manaakitanga ‘a person-centred approach’, connecting a person needing help with a wellbeing service provider in their community. Embracing rangatiratanga ‘self-determination’, supporting those in our communities to determine their own course.


Created in 2018, by two Bay of Plenty frontline officers, AWHI supports our frontline staff to help people in their communities with issues which could contribute to offending, reoffending or victimisation.

AWHI is one of the many Police support systems aiding people in our communities with help.

How AWHI works

An AWHI referral can be offered to anyone aged 16 years old or older. It is completely voluntary: the people we are trying to help can choose whether or not to accept it.

An AWHI referral is made as well as, not instead of any other decision or action taken.

We recognise the way we handle personal information is important in maintaining the levels of trust and confidence to which we aspire.

How AWHI helps

AWHI is built on whanaungatanga ‘establishing and nurturing relationships’ with local communities and wellbeing service providers.

The connections we make through AWHI referrals help to prevent people from offending, reoffending or becoming victims of crime or harm.

Referrals are made to local wellbeing service providers in the areas of mental health, family wellbeing and addiction services, driver licencing, accommodation, budget assistance and care for older people.