Thursday, 14 June 2018 - 7:00am

New rank, renewed drive for Māori

3 min read

News article photos (4 items)

Wally slides
wally cloak
Wally haka
Wally lineup

Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha received the insignia of his new rank last week – appropriately enough, surrounded by iwi leaders and Māori police.

Wally, now Deputy Commissioner Māori, was honoured at a meeting of the Commissioner’s Māori Focus Forum at Ngā Hau e Whā Marae, Christchurch.

Commissioner Mike Bush told the hui Police Minister Stuart Nash had explained the reasoning behind the decision to appoint Wally to the warranted Deputy Commissioner position.

“Aside from Wally’s outstanding leadership and mana, it’s also to give further mandate to the work that he has championed for so many years - that you have all championed - and that’s to bring better outcomes for Māori,” he said.

“I’ve worked alongside Wally for many years and I’ve seen his passion, his drive and his thinking - and he brings every one to this piece of work. He has been relentless in that focus on behalf of our organisation and in terms of his partnerships.

“I think it’s fantastic that the Government has acknowledged that leadership. Again - I can’t stress this enough - it’s to drive the mandate, to bring better outcomes and to right the wrongs inside our communities.”

Commissioner Bush and Bishop Kito, Vicar-General of the Māori Anglican Church, presented Wally with his new epaulettes.

Dame Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi and Dame Naida Glavish, members of the Māori Focus Forum, draped the Canterbury Police cloak – or kakahu huruhuru – around his shoulders as Inspectors Anaru Pewhairangi and Warwick Morehu led a haka.

To close the hui, Sir Mark Solomon – another Forum member – presented Wally with a Ngāi Tahu pounamu pendant. Commissioner Bush presented one to Dame Naida to mark her elevation to damehood in the 2018 New Year Honours.

Wally says he hopes his appointment gives hope to young Māori that Police is somewhere they could thrive, and to Māori officers in Police that they can aspire to significant leadership roles.

“I’ve had huge congratulations from out in the public domain, from MPs from the last Government and the present one, and particularly from Māoridom, up and down the country,” he says. “It shows how much this appointment means to them.

“I feel hugely proud to have the trust and confidence of the Government and Commissioner, and proud to support the Commissioner’s strategic intent for the direction of the organisation to help us achieve Our Business.

“It’s a privilege to serve our people, our Māori communities and our communities generally across the country.”

Wally joined Police in 1984. He has led Police's Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Services group since its establishment in 2007 after several years as a strategic cultural advisor at Police National Headquarters.

He has said he was counselled by iwi leaders not to seek a District Commander’s position but to keep representing Māori at the highest levels of the organisation.

He has led the development of major policy programmes including The Turning of the Tide, the Justice Sector Māori Outcomes Strategy, Te Pae Oranga iwi panels, the Ethnic and Pacific Peoples Strategy and national Māori Wardens Project. He is also national sponsor for Alternative Resolutions.

He received the Queens Service Medal in 1998 for services to the community as a member of the CIB, and as Officer in Charge of community policing.

He was awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation for establishing a Memorandum of Understanding between Police and 14 major iwi groups in the Bay of Plenty, creating a partnership model that became embedded in policing.

In 2004 Wally led the foreshore and seabed hikoi – the largest-ever protest hikoi – from Northland to Parliament without incident or arrest, earning another Commissioner’s Commendation and the lasting trust and confidence of Māori activists and communities.

He was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) last year.