New Zealand Police
Wellington, August 25, 2017
Remember when everyone looked up to the police?
Our staff found that they were the ones doing the looking up when they met basketballer Steven Adams and some of his towering teammates in Christchurch.
Kiwi superstar Adams is back in New Zealand with an Oklahoma City Thunder contingent including his teammates Andre Roberson and Nick Collison and coach Billy Donovan for a series of basketball training camps.
They were welcomed to Christchurch yesterday with a full haka pwhiri at Ng Hau e Wh Marae.
Among the Police staff present were Assistant Commissioner Mori Wallace Haumaha and it was an especially poignant meeting with Adams as he and Wally were brought up in the same part of Rotorua – though, Wally concedes, some years apart.
This was the first pwhiri and taste of tikanga Mori for the visitors and their feedback was that they were blown away by it, Canterbury District Mori Responsiveness Manager Inspector Hirone Waretini said.
Strong Maori ties
Police staff played a full part in organising and running the event, at which Wally and Hirone were invited to sit on the paepae a sign, says Hirone, of Polices strong relationship with the Marae.
The whaikorero for the Marae was done by Tuhorouta Mike Kaui, Canterbury Police Kaumatua. The Canterbury Mori Pacific and Ethnic Services team, Acting Sergeant Andrea Williams and Senior Constable Jeff Martin, were part of the organisation of the event and organised our team to attend and assist Mori Wardens on site. Our members were also welcomed on with the team and stayed to help serve kai to more than 200 schoolchildren from Christchurch who attended and participated in the welcome, Mr Waretini said.
Also present were members of Neighbourhood Policing Team from Aranui, site of the training camp, and the Field Training Group.
Among the speakers were Sir Mark Solomon, a member of the Commissioners Mori Focus Forum, who praised the efforts of Commissioner Bush and Mr Haumaha in enabling Police to lead the Public Service in working with Mori to address issues faced by Mori in the Criminal Justice System.
Photo Courtesy: New Zealand Police