Inspired by the Humans of New York photoblog, we’re showcasing some of the incredible stories and experience of people throughout our organisation.
Jason / Whare - Constable, Ethnic Liaison Officer, Tauranga Moana
I am Jason, known as Whare Wharewera, and I am based in Bay of Plenty. Joining New Zealand Police has been a journey worth some word.
I was born and bred in Malaysia, I am of Maori and Chinese descent. Shortly after arriving in Aotearoa, in the mid-90s, I recall walking into the Whakatane Police Station wanting to join but I did not meet the height criteria. In 1998, I tried again and failed the required entrance test.
Determined to pursue this career, I joined the NZ Army and while serving took the opportunity to upskill myself. Later, in 2016, I re-applied and successfully graduated as a constable in 2018.
After graduating, I was posted to Tauranga Moana, Bay of Plenty on a Public Safety Team (PST). I've also completed a short secondment with the Impairment Prevention team (IPT). Before joining Police, I was fortunate to have attended some courses - the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) and basic Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO) course.
I have also worked with the Tactical Crime Unit (TCU) in Upper Hutt, the Alcohol Harm Prevention team in Auckland Central, and instructed some of the Diplomatic Protection Squad (DPS) members on the Military Police Close Protection Course.
Recently, I've commenced my new role as an Ethnic Liaison Officer, a role that is intrinsic to the Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services (MPES). The opportunities to diversify this role are abundant and what I love about this job is that every day has the potential to be completely different from the one before.
I am multilingual - a skill I have used every day during my work. I speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa Melayu, te reo, and other dialects such as Hokkien and Hakka. I read and write in some of these languages too. Oh, and I am still learning English.
As a rookie in Police, my experience in the Army has helped immensely in the environment and community I now work in. In most instances, you have to be adept at dealing with stress, keep calm in potentially dangerous situations, and tolerate shift work.
In my spare time, I love cooking and eating. I am a qualified chef and during my transition to Police, I tutored at one of New Zealand's largest culinary schools in Auckland. In recent years, I have decided to pursue another qualification(tohu), it has been hectic having to juggle work, family and studies but I look forward to graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Management this year.
A career in Police comes with challenges, but there's a great deal of gratification involved in the job. Although I’ve only been in this job a short time, the unknown never ceases to amaze me. Never above, never below, always next to you. Onward.