A dawn unveiling ceremony will officially open a new cultural facility for Police recruits and staff at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Wednesday 23 June 2004 from 5:45am.
The unveiling of 12 poupou (carvings) from around the country will see the completion of the Kapiti Room, says National Manager: Training and Professional Development, Superintendent Alistair (Olly) Beckett.
The Kapiti Room will be the new cultural heart of the College, but will also continue to be used for all teaching.
"One poupou has come from each of the 12 Police districts around New Zealand. Police staff in each area have worked with local iwi to create a poupou that represents significant aspects of the district and interprets the Police and MÃ¢ori relationship through the eyes of iwi.
"The poupou will be used as a learning aide to teach recruits and other Police staff who visit the College more about the iwi in their area," says Superintendent Beckett.
NgÃ¢ti Toa Rangatira have also contributed 10 carvings to the Kapiti Room, which were installed earlier this year.
The completion of the project marks the culmination of 21 years of discussion and planning between NgÃ¢ti Toa Rangatira, the Police College and Police staff. It has been guided by the Police Responsiveness to MÃ¢ori strategy, which aims to increase Police capability to reduce MÃ¢ori offending, re-offending and victimisation.
"The process of creating this cultural learning space has been as important as the end result. It has provided a positive opportunity for Police to work with local iwi and improve relationships. It is a demonstration of the Police commitment to better respond to MÃ¢ori needs.
"Ngati Toa support has been vital to the project getting past first base. Carvers and iwi representatives from around the country have also donated much of their time and gone out of their way to support the project," says Superintendent Beckett.
"The area will continue to develop over time to become a place for members of Police to learn more about the many cultures that make up New Zealand."
For more information please contact:
Toni Barlow, Communications Adviser
(04) 238 3413 / 0274 419 216.