I te wā o Matariki - He wā ōna ka whāia te mātua e te taiohi ki ngā mahi pirihimana - ka mutu, he wā ōna ka tauaro. Tūtaki mai ki ngā Kātipa, a Haylee rāua ko Mel Isaacs.
E aroha ana a Kātipa Haylee ki tana mahi i te rohe o Te Whanganui-a-Tara - waihoki, e hīkaka ana he whakaawenga nōna ki tana māmā ki te uru atu ki Ngā Pirihimana hoki.
Ka whakapapa a Haylee, i whakapōtaetia i te Rāngai 345 i te tau 2020, ki Ngāti Ruanui i Taranaki ki te taha o tōna pāpā. Kāore ia i tipu ake me te mātauranga Māori, engari hei tāna kei te koke tonu ia, ā, i ēnei rā kei te kaha tana ako e pā ana ki tana whānau.
Hei tāna, “mai rā anō tōku pīrangi ki te uru ki Ngā Pirihimana.” I mōhio au i te whakaarohia hoki e māmā, ā, he pirihimana o mua taku pāpā. Kua rata au ki ngā mahi e whai wāhi ai ki te tangata, me taku aroha kia kōkirikiri te āhua o aku mahi.”
Taihoa tāna mahi ka tīmata, he pīrangi nōna ki te haere kia kitea te ao i te tuatahi.
“Ko tētahi āhuatanga i tino āki i a au ko taku mahi ki roto o Marēhia me ngā manene ki te kite i te uaua o ō rātou oranga.
"I hoki mai au ki te kāinga, ka whakatutukihia ai tētahi Tohu Paetahi Mātauranga Tōrangapū me te Hononga o te Ao, ka uru ai ki Ngā Pirihimana.”
Hei tāna, e hiahia ana ia ki te mahi tahi ki te taha o ngā manene me ngā hapori, heoi anō tāna ināianei, ko te tau pai ki ngā mahi aroākapa.
Hei tāna, “nōku te whiwhi ki te whai wāhi atu ki taku wāhanga ki Porirua, koia kei a rātou, he rōpū pirihimana tino mīharo, whakaaro nui anō hoki.”
Ko Haylee tētahi o ngā whakaaweawenga mō tana māmā, a Mel, i uru atu i tērā tau. Ko Mel, nō Hamoa me Whītī, i tipu ake i Ōtepoti, ā, i te ope kātua ia i ngā rā o mua.
Ki a ia, ko te haepapa, whanaungatanga me te whakatutukitanga ngā tino kaupapa o te mau kākahu ōrite. I kitea e ia ngā kaupapa e toru i roto i a Ngāti Tūmatauenga, ā, i whāia hoki ērā i ōna tūnga katoa mai i tana putanga atu ki te ao tūmatanui i te tau 1996.
Mai i taua wā tana rata ki Ngā Pirihimana, engari i mōhio ia, i taua wā kāore e taea e te whaea takitahi te pēnā.
Ko Mel me pēpē Haylee, kotahi tau tōna pakeke.
Hei tāna, “ka 33 taku pakeke i tono tuatahi ai au ki te uru atu ki Ngā Pirihimana, engari kāore ōku ihu i puta i taku aromatawai PAT tuatahi, me te aha kāore au i kōrero ki taku kaikimi ika tauhou, he whakamā nōku.
“I te tōmuatanga o aku tau 40 i tono ai au anō, nōku e noho ana i Ōtautahi. Kia pono taku kōrero, i nui rawa taku māharahara ki ētahi mea, kāore i te pērā rawa taku māhahara ki te toenga, ā, i te mutunga iho i whakakorehia taku tono. Mehemea ka hoki ngā whakaaro, kāore anō au i rite ā-hinengaro."
Hei tā Mel, i te wā i kōrero atu a Haylee ki a ia ka tono atu ia, i te tino whakahīhī ia ki tana tamāhine - ā haere ake nei.
Ahakoa i te whakaaro hoki ia ki te uru atu ki Ngā Pirihimana, i pēnei ia he pakeke rawa ia, e 48 tōna pakeke, mō te urunga atu. I whāia e ia ā Haylee mahi hei whaea tautoko noa, i āta tirohia te hātepe, me tana whāki, i ‘paku’ pūhaehae ia.
Hei tā Mel “Engari, ko Haylee me taku kaihana kōrero pono, te āki mai a taku hoa rangatira me taku tama, me te pānui i ngā kōrero e pā ana ki a Lynda Perry, e 57 tōna pakeke nōna i whakapōtaetia, ētahi o whakaaweawetanga i tono atu ai anō, me taku ū ki tēnā.” I taua wā, e 50 tōna pakeke.
I muri i tana whakapōtaetanga i te tōmuatanga o te tau 2022, kei te mahi pirihimana ia i Maruawai, ā, he pai ngā mahi katoa - hāunga ngā mahi i te pō tāna i whāki mai ai. “Inā kē te pai o te tīma o konei, kāore anō kia rongo i te haumarutanga me te tautoko he pērā rawa te nui i taku mahi
"He tino pai a Haylee hei hoa kōrerorero mō ngā nawe, ngā whakanui, me ngā kōrero! Ko taku tino mahi - #tinomahi."
Constable Haylee, left; and Constable Mel, pictured supporting Operation Convoy earlier this year.
For Matariki - Sometimes young people follow a parent into policing – and sometimes it’s the other way round. Meet Constables Haylee and Mel Isaacs.
Constable Haylee Isaacs is loving her job in Wellington District - and she’s thrilled to have inspired her mum to join Police too.
Haylee, who graduated from Wing 345 in 2020, can whakapapa to Ngāti Ruanui in Taranaki on her dad’s side. She didn’t grow up with much mātauranga Māori, but says she’s getting there and learning much more about her whānau these days.
“I always wanted to join Police,” she says. “I knew it was on mum’s radar too and my dad is ex-Police. I’ve generally always enjoyed jobs which have interaction with people and I love working under pressure.”
It took her a while to start the journey as she wanted to travel and see the world first.
“A big driver was my time working in Malaysia with migrants and seeing how tough their lives were.
"I came home and finished a Bachelor of Political Science and International Relations then applied to Police after that.”
She says she’d love to work with migrants and communities but right now is just trying to get used to the front line.
“I am very lucky to be on my section in Porirua, they are an amazing and very understanding group of police officers,” she says.
Haylee was an inspiration for her mother Mel to join up last year. Mel, who is of Samoan and Fijian descent and was brought up in Dunedin, previously served in the military.
To her, wearing a uniform has always meant responsibility, accountability, camaraderie and achievement. She experienced all three in the Army and pursued those elements in every role she’s held since leaving for civvy life in 1996.
Joining the Police appealed to her back then, but as a single mother she knew it wasn’t an option then.
Mel with baby Haylee, aged about one.
“I first applied for the Police at the age of 33 in Invercargill, but failed my first PAT trial in spectacular fashion and was so embarrassed that I didn’t follow up with the recruiter,” she says.
“I was in my early 40s when I applied the next time, when living in Christchurch. If I’m honest, I over-thought a few things, under-thought the rest and ended up withdrawing my application. Looking back, I just wasn’t mentally ready.”
When Haylee told her she’d decided to apply, Mel says she was so proud of her daughter – and always will be.
Though she was still keen to join Police as well, she believed that at 48, she was far too old to join. She followed Haylee’s journey as a supportive mother, experiencing the process vicariously, but admits to a ‘smidge’ of jealously.
:But then, Haylee, plus my straight-talking cousin, the encouragement of my partner and son and reading about Lynda Perry graduating at age 57 were all inspirations for me to apply again and stick with it,” says Mel. By then she was 50.
After graduating in early 2022 she’s now policing in Gore and loving every second of it – except for some night shifts, she admits. “It’s a great team here and I’ve never felt so safe and supported at work.
“It’s so great having Haylee to bounce complaints, celebrations and stories off! It’s my dream job - #Dreamjob.”