Friday, 24 November 2006 - 5:28pm |
National News

NZ Police's responsiveness to Maori examined at annual conference

4 min read

The New Zealand Police is holding its sixth annual Responsiveness to Maori conference next week at The Royal New Zealand Police College.

The conference is known as Ngakia Kia Puawai, meaning 'to grow and to blossom', and this sentiment has very much been the story of the Police's Responsiveness to Maori strategy over the past 10 years, says Acting National Manager for Maori Pacific Ethnic Services, Inspector Wallace Haumaha.

New Zealand Police embarked on a more proactive and focussed approach to address offending by and victimisation of Maori in 1996.

This vision has since broadened into strategies for responding to Pacific and ethnic communities. Reflecting this, a new Ethnic Diversity carving will be unveiled at the Police College during the conference.

There are almost 50 Iwi/Pacific/Ethnic Liaison Officers in the Police currently and cultural training is a core part of the recruit course.

"Over the past 10 years, purposeful relationship building with iwi and Maori service providers has led to much greater trust and respect in police from the Maori community," says Inspector Haumaha.

Iwi representatives, other government agencies and prominent Maori commentators, including Ken Laban, Mark Solomon, Naida Glavish and Moana Jackson, are involved in the conference.

Overseas approaches to the over-representation of indigenous people in crime will also be examined.

Two senior police staff from the New South Wales Police and a representative from the Australian aboriginal community will talk about lessons learned from the Redfern, Macquarie Fields and Cronulla riots in Australia.

A Canadian police officer and aboriginal representative will talk about interventions being employed in the Saskatoon Police Service to address disproportionate crime and victimisation among their First Nations people.

"There are patterns throughout the developed world of indigenous people being over-represented in the criminal justice system and so it is important we learn from each other's experiences and approaches to the problem," says Inspector Haumaha.

A key theme of this year's conference is the multi-government agency Effective Interventions programme and how the Police's Responsiveness to Maori strategy can support it.

Minister of Justice the Hon Mark Burton will talk about the high number of Maori in the criminal justice system and the Effective Interventions initiatives.

Police projects involving partnerships with iwi and community agencies to specifically address Maori offending and victimisation will also be discussed at the conference.

"Long-lasting solutions to the over-representation of Maori in offending and victimisation will come from a partnership approach involving the community, the Police and key government and non-government agencies. By sharing information we will all gain a better understanding of the problem," says Inspector Haumaha.

"The vision is for all police officers to have the skills to better respond to Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities, and this conference is particularly about engaging middle managers so the momentum continues."

Ethnic Diversity poupou unveiling:

An Ethnic Diversity carving will be unveiled during the Ngakia Kia Puawai Conference. The event will be attended by Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres, ethnic community representatives and conference participants. The carving was a joint initiative of the New Zealand Police and the Human Rights Commission to recognise the contribution that staff from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds bring to the Police. It has been installed alongside poupou (carvings) created for the Police College in 2004, which were erected so that police recruits could learn more about iwi in the areas where they will work.

Conference programme:

Some conference sessions are open to the media. Where this is not the case, every effort will be made to accommodate requests for interviews with conference presenters.



Powhiri with Ngati Toa Rangatira

Media welcome


Official opening of conference, Police Commissioner Howard Broad

"Effective Interventions"

Media welcome


Minister of Justice, Hon Mark Burton

"The Effective Interventions Initiative and the High Number of Maori in the Criminal Justice System"

Media welcome


Te Puni Kokiri, "Effective Interventions Strategy"


NZ Police, Police National Maori Strategy


Auckland Police, Intel-led Policing and Maori


Ken Laban, Manager Tamaiti Whangai

"Tamaiti Whangai (a community programme in the Hutt Valley), how does it work for the Maori community?"

Media welcome



Unveiling of Ethnic Diversity poupou at the Police College

To be attended by Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres and ethnic community representatives.

Media welcome


Panel discussion hosted by Maori Television broadcaster Wena Harawira.

NZ Police panel members:

Wellington District Commander, Superintendent Pieri Munro

Tasman District Commander, Superintendent Grant O'Fee

Senior Policy Development Officer, Police National HQ, Sergeant Denise Traill

External panel members:

Director of the Maori Law Commission, Moana Jackson

Chairperson of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua, Naida Glavish

Te Puni Kokiri Project Manager: Effective Interventions, Juan Tauri


New South Wales Police, Australia

"The Redfern, Macquarie Fields and Cronulla Riots: Moving Forward"

Assistant Commissioner: Professional Standards, Catherine Burn

Local Area Commander - City Central (Sydney), Superintendent Paul Carey

Aboriginal representative Dixie Link-Gordon


Saskatoon Police Service, Canada

"Building Trust - Aboriginal policing issues in Canada"

Sergeant Craig Nyirfa

Aboriginal representative Georgina Musqua


Waikato Police, Iwi / Hapu Data



Canterbury Police, Hot Families Project


Mark Solomon, Chairman Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu

"Global Futures"


Close of conference

Minister of Police, Hon Annette King

Media welcome


For more information or to notify your intention to attend conference presentations that are open to the media, please contact:

Toni Barlow, Communications Adviser - 04 238 3413 / 0274 419 216