He wā ia me tiro whakamuri kia anga whakamua, he kōrero e pā ana ki tētahi pirihimana ngākau aroha ki tētahi taitama kia whāia te tika
I tino rerekē te āhuatanga o te tūtakinga o ngā hoa pirihimana a Kātipa Kapireira Akarana rāua ko Kātipa Matua Spencer Penney.
Ko Spencer - ko Spence rānei, e mōhiotia ana i Onerahi i Te Tai Tokerau - ka wehe i Ngā Pirihimana i tēnei tau i muri i tana mahi i tīmata i Waka Kotahi i ngā tau 41 ki muri.
Ko Kapi, i whakapōtaetia i te tau 2020 me te Rāngai 342 e mahi ana ki Kaitaia i te rōpūPST. I a ia e taitama ana, i mau ia i a Spence mō te whānako te take.
I uaua te oranga o Kapi, engari kua hurihia tana oranga i runga i te āwhina a Spence me ētahi atu pirihimana o Te Tai Tokerau. Ināianei, kei te eke panuku ia, i tēnei tau tuarua o tōna ara pirihimana.
Hei tā Tāriana Kaiwhakahōia Te Tai Tokerau a Sarah Wihongi, kua taea e ia te hono atu ki tōna reo, ki tōna ahurea i, me te whai hua i raro i tētahi pirihimana pou whakawhirinaki.
Hei tā Sarah ‘I a Kapi e tamariki ana, itiiti noa iho tana hononga ki tōna reo me tōna ahurea.’
“Mei kore ake te mahi whakaaweawe o tētahi pirihimana pou whakawhirinaki, kua taea e ia te hono ki a ia anō, te aro ki ngā āhuatanga o tana oranga me panoni, me te ako i te reo.”
Hei tā Kapi, tōna 15 ōna tau i mau ia mō te whānako te take. Ko Spence te kātipa o te hapori.
“I te whānako au i te korenga o ōku kākahu i pīrangitia e au, nā reira i whakaaro ahau ka haere poka noa tiki kākahu ai. I mau ahau, ā, ka haramai a Kātipa Matua Spencer Penney ki te kōrero ki ahau.”
Hei tā Kapi, i mōhio a Spence he maha ōna raru kei te kāinga, nā reira ia i āta whakaarohia ana matatika, me ana whakaaweawenga.
“Hei tā Spence, he aha koe i kore ai e wgau mahi ki te hoko i āu anō rawa? Kāore anō tētahi kia kōrero pērā mai. kāore au i paku mōhio he pērā te mahi a te tangata, te whiwhi mahi hei utu i ngā nama - ehara tēnei i te taunoa i ahau e tamariki ana, kāore tētahi o taku whānau i pērā”
Nō tētahi whānau nui, takarepa hoki a Kapi, ā, he nui ōna raru, he taunoa noa iho ngā mahi tūkino me te inu waipiro.
Hei tāna, “he rite tonu tā mātou ko taku māmā, pāpā me aku tatao hūnuku.” “I hūnuku mātou i Tokoroa ki Tāmaki ki te tonga, ki wāhi kē atu o Tāmaki hoki, kātahi, ki Whangārei.
“I a au e tamariki ana, he pērā rawa taku nakunaku i taku iwi me taku whānau. He hononga tō pāpā ki ngā kēnge, tō māmā anō hoki ki tana taha o te whānau.
Ehara taku whare i te whare pai. He whakarekereke, kāore i te haumaru hoki. E 17 ōku tau, nā tētahi whawhai i taku whare au i whakapātaritari kia puta atu i tērā ao.
“I a mātou ko aku tatao e tamariki ana, he rite tonu tā mātou rongo, kite hoki i ngā whawhai me te nui o te inu waipiro, te mutunga kē mai o te weriweri, ā, kāore au i pīrangi kia pērā mai ki ahau. Kāore au i pīrangi kia pērā ki aku tatao, ki taku māmā rānei.
"I mate taku wehe atu i tērā ao, me te panoni i taku titiro. i mate taku anō rangahau, te titiro ki ahau anō kia kore ai e pērā anō. I tino roa te ara mōku.
“I pīrangi ahau kia noho tawhiti i tēnei, me te āki i taku māmā kia puta atu i tēnā ao, whakapakekehia ai ōku tatao i tētahi wāhi haumaru ake.
“Kātahi rawa ka puta atu taku māmā i tēnā ao, ā, kua kore taku Pāpā e whai wāhi mai, engari i tino roa.”
Ko Komihana Andrew Coster e pōhiri ana i a Kapi ki te whānau, mauī.
Ka 23 ōna tau, ka tono kia uru atu ki Ngā Pirihimana, engari i peau i te wāhanga arotake. Kāore ia i mōhio he aha i pērā ai, ko tana whakapae, ko tana pakeketanga, te āhua o tana whānau rānei te take.”
“Nā konā au wehe atu ai i te kāinga whai mahi kē ai i te mahi ngāherehere mō ētahi tau, kātahi ka mahi taiapa, kātahi rawa ka mahi whaiaro
“Nā te whānau o taku hoa rangatira au i āki kia whai whakaaro ahau ki taku anamata me taku pito mata. I taka te whakaaro me whakapai i ahau anō, kia whakaarohia ngā take i peau ahau, me te whai wheako i te mahi tūao ki ngā tamariki me ngā tangata kāinga kore i taku hapori.
“Kāore au i tino whakapono ka taea e au, i runga i taku mate kia arotake ā-hinengarotia, kia patapatai mai hoki ngā pirihimana ki ahau e pā ana ki taku onamata, engari i runga i te ākinga mai, me te tautoko mai o taku hoa rangatira, i tono atu anō ahau.
“Nāku anō i utu ngā nama mō tōku arotake mātai hinengaro, ehara ngā nama i te iti, engari i tino pīrangitia mōku. I whai wāhi anō ki te wāhanga patapatai, tāria te wā ka uru atu ai au. Kāore i ārikarika ngā mihi i te āheinga i homai ai e te rōpū kimi ika tauhou o Te Tai Tokerau.”
Hei tā Spence kei te harikoa ia he āheinga nōna ki te āwhina i a Kapi.
‘I rongo au i uru atu a Kapi ki Ngā Pirihimana. I tērā tau i haere mai ia ki ahau e mau ana i te kakahu pirihimana ki te teihana penehīni - i te tuatahi kāore au i maumahara ki a ia, kātahi ka taka te kapa, ko te taitama tērā nō ngā hia nei tau ki muri.’
He rite tonu tana tono mai kia hui tahi kia kōrerohia tana uru atu, engari kāore ia e taea te whakapā mai ki ahau.
“Kei te maumahara au ki a ia, he taitama, nō tō tātou hapori. I te raruraru ia, ehara tana whānau i te pai, kāore i māmā tana oranga hoki.
“Kātahi ia ka whakatau kia uru atu ki Ngā Pirihimana, ā, nā ngā kōrero mai ki ahau, kei te tino pai ia. He nui tana mahi i roto i tōna hapori.
He tikanga tō ngā mea katoa. Kei te harikoa ahau he waimarie nōku ki te tautoko i tērā.
Constable Kapireira (Kapi) Akarana and Senior Constable Spencer Penney.
At a time for reflecting on the past and looking to the future, the story of how an empathetic cop helped a young man turn his life around.
Police colleagues Constable Kapireira Akarana and Senior Constable Spencer Penney met under unusual circumstances.
Spencer - or Spence, as he’s known to many in Onerahi in the Far North - will leave Police this year after a career which started in the Ministry of Transport 41 years ago.
Kapi, who graduated in 2020 with Wing 342, works in Kaitaia on PST. When he was a young teenager, Spence held him accountable for a theft.
Kapi has a tough back story but has changed his life thanks to awhi from Spence and other police in Northland. He is now thriving, two years into his policing career.
Crucially, says Northland Recruiting Sergeant Sarah Wihongi, he has been able to connect to his language and culture and benefit from the influence of a trusted police officer.
“When Kapi was younger he had limited connection to his language or culture,” says Sarah.
“It was thanks to the influence of a trusted and senior police officer that he was able to connect to himself, identify things he had to fix in his life and that included learning te reo.”
Kapi says he was about 15 years old when he was caught stealing. Spence was the local community constable.
“I was stealing because I didn’t have anything that I wanted to wear, so I figured I would just go and help myself. I got caught and Senior Constable Spencer Penney came and talked to me.”
Kapi says Spence knew he had issues at home and made him question his ethics and motives.
“Spence said ‘Why don’t you get a job and then buy your own stuff?’ No-one else had said that to me. I had no idea that’s what people did, get jobs to pay for things – it wasn’t something I was used to growing up, no one did that in my family.”
Kapi was from a large, deprived and troubled family, where violence and drinking were the daily norm.
“We shifted around a lot, my mum, dad and nine brothers and sisters and me,” he says. “We moved from Tokoroa to South Auckland, and other parts of Auckland, and then Whangārei.
"I was really disconnected from iwi and whānau when I was growing up. Dad had gang connections and even mum had gang connections on her side of the family.
“We did not have a good home life. It was violent and unsafe. What provoked me to leave that life at 17 years old was another fight happening at my house.
“Me and my siblings grew up hearing and seeing fighting and loads of drinking and it was horrible, and I didn’t want that for me anymore. I didn’t want it for my brothers and sisters or my mum.
“I had to step out of that life and process things differently. I had to do my own research, look at my life and style and not repeat the past. It was a long process for me to get through.
“I wanted to distance myself from this and encourage my mother to get out of that life and bring up my brothers and sisters in a better environment.
“My mother finally got out of that environment, and Dad is no longer in the picture, and it took a while.”
Commissioner Coster welcomes Kapi to the whānau.
He applied to join Police at 23 but was turned away at the vetting stage. He didn’t know why, assuming his young age or family background were to blame.
“With that in mind, I left home and then got a job in forestry for a few years, then worked in fencing and then I ended up self-employed.
“My partner’s whānau encouraged me to think of my future and my potential. I recognised I needed to work on myself more, took into consideration the potential reasons for the rejection and got some life experience through volunteering with youth and homeless in my community.
“I still wasn’t sure I would make it, having to go through psychologist assessments and interviews with detectives about my past, but with my partner’s constant support and encouragement I applied again.
“I paid for my own psychometric testing, which wasn’t cheap, but I really wanted this for me. I got to another interview process, and then finally I managed to get in. I am ever so grateful for the chance that Northland recruiting gave me.”
Spence says he’s glad to have been able to help Kapi.
“I heard Kapi had joined Police. Kapi came up to me at the gas station in uniform last year - I didn’t remember him initially but then I realised… it was that young fella from ages ago.
“He’d been trying to catch up with me for ages to tell me he had joined and then he hadn’t managed to tie me down.
“I do remember him, as a young fella, and he was part of our community. He was struggling, rough whānau, and he wasn’t finding life easy.
“He then decided to join Police and, from what I’ve heard, he’s doing great. He’s doing a massive job in his community.
“Things happen for a reason. I am glad he’s doing well. What a good outcome – I’m glad to have helped with that.”