Source: New Zealand Government
“A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau.”
Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae, Thorndon Quay, Wellington
Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou.
Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all.
Specifically can I acknowledge Iwi, Māori, and community leaders here this afternoon – tena koutou katoa.
I am delighted to be here, in front of a group of people who have long dedicated themselves to the Māori Crown partnership, and to the Māori Police partnership.
Thank you for this opportunity to be with you today to help launch Te Huringa o Te Tai strategy that sets out a pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau.
I believe this strategy, based on Turning of the Tide and the hard work of Māori and Police, will continue to be a strong momentum for change. The fact that you are all here today is a testament to how important this is for both Māori and Police.
Safer Communities Together – Partnerships
New Zealand Police’s motto is Safer Communities Together. For a moment I want to focus on the word “together”.
“Together” is about New Zealand Police working with all of New Zealand’s diverse communities, and working with a range of valuable partners, to make New Zealand the Safest Country and enhance security at home and in the Pacific.
Of course in New Zealand, the Crown has a unique treaty relationship with Māori and our Government is focused towards living up to being a Treaty partner that meets the expectations of Māori on issues of importance to us both.
Through collaborative effort we all want to see positive change to create a better future for all Māori in New Zealand.
And we can do it – Police has been transforming their response and lifting their service delivery for Māori, and this strategy, Te Huringa o Te Tai, will push us forward to meet the expectations of our communities.
We all agree that improving the wellbeing of Māori will improve the wellbeing of all our communities across New Zealand.
This Government is committed to:
- improving the intergenerational wellbeing of whānau,
- supporting Māori to realise the potential of their whenua,
- working together with Māori by building closer partnerships, and
- promoting a whānau-centered approach across government.
We also want to change the story of rangatahi in our regions through training and employment to ensure they have positive opportunities for a bright future.
I see many great initiatives that Police are part of, that are helping to change that story – driver licensing initiatives and Te Pae Oranga iwi panels are just two examples of Police’s new approach.
Acknowledgment of Parihaka – 5 November
I want to acknowledge that yesterday – 5 November – was the anniversary of the Parihaka invasion in 1881, and that the Crown troops were the face of the Crown on that day.
Reflecting on an event such as Parihaka, and the hurt that has travelled through the years and generations from that day adds to my understanding of why many Māori don’t have full trust and confidence in the Crown or Police.
Gaining trust and support is a long process, but is so necessary if we are to address the underlying causes of offending and victimisation which disproportionally impact on Māori.
The Parihaka Reconciliation Bill – Te Pire Haeata ki Parihaka has passed its third reading, and is part of a journey of reconciliation between Parihaka and the Crown.
“Haeata” means “dawn” and signifies a new beginning. The Parihaka people remain determined to shape their own future, just as our Iwi Māori leaders are determined to see better outcomes for whānau in the criminal justice system.
While the system will refer to them as offenders and victims, they are whānau first – brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers – and the more we collectively can do, to direct Māori away from entering the criminal justice system, the stronger our communities will be.
Delivering on the expectations of Māori
It is important that the Police organisation and all its staff understand the expectations of Māori and the whakapapa that exists between us – as Māori and Police, and as Māori and the Crown.
Having this understanding is incredibly important for Police to be able to deliver its obligations under the Māori Crown relationship.
This means that Police direction, initiatives, models and in fact all Police work needs to reflect the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi – Partnership, Participation, and Protection.
Police, as we see in their core value “Commitment to Māori and the Treaty”, are on board as willing partners.
I’m pleased to see efforts to enhance diversity within Police are paying off – because for Police to be truly effective, our police officers must reflect Aotearoa New Zealand as a whole.
When the public look at their police officers, they need to see people like them looking back.
At the last graduation of new constables, 27 percent of them identified as Māori, and in the past two financial years the number of Māori police officers has increased by 16 percent. Māori now make up 12.6 percent of the Constabulary workforce.
Throughout the development of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Police have sought the views and listened to the voices of Iwi Māori leaders, whānau, communities, service providers, rangatahi, kuia, kaumatua, Māori Wardens, Police staff, and our government partners.
I thank all of these groups of people who have come together to contribute.
I know everyone here is really passionate about this strategy and I commend you for that passion, and for the expertise, thought and hard work that has gone into it.
I recognise the past has had a profoundly negative effect on Māori, and that we need to do our utmost to move to a better future for all. I want to leave you with this whakataukī:
Haere whakamua titiro whakamuri.
Let us walk into the future with our eyes open to the past.