Wellington, July 26, 2018
Strong support for Deputy Police Commissioner Wallace Haumaha is being voiced throughout New Zealand.
Neville Baker, a former Maori Trustee and now an Executive Advisor to iwi and government covering Social Policy Development for Corrections, Education, Health, Housing, Training and Employment, said that continued innuendo about Mr Haumaha should cease.
Mr Haumaha has been the subject of media stories questioning his appointment as Deputy Commissioner’s role.
“Mr Haumaha is a hard-working, genuine person who continues to do things that are helping make a beneficial difference to New Zealand society. I will be making a submission to the government inquiry and I will have no difficulty in showing he deserved his promotion to Deputy Commissioner, Mr Baker said.
“He is contributing immensely, developing and delivering programmes that have been beneficial for not only iwi but also other communities, families and individuals across the country,” he added,
Prior to his recent appointment, Mr Haumaha had already worked for three years as Deputy Chief Executive Maori for Police.
He continues to lead three major national strategies including ‘Turning of the Tide’, ‘Working Together with Ethnic Communities’ and the about to be launched ‘The Pacific Strategy.’
Honours and Citations
He has received a Queen’s Service Medal (1998) and is an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2017).
Mr Haumaha also has several Police Commissioner Commendations, including one for leading the Police’s partnership with ethnically diverse communities.
Another came after he led the Police response to the largest Maori protest march in New Zealand’s history from Northland to Wellington without incident or arrest.
Growing list of supporters
Neville Baker is joined by a chorus of New Zealand’s Knights and Dames, including Dame Nadia Glavish, Dame Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi, Sir Toby Curtis, Sir Taihākurei (Eddie) Durie and a wide range of people who have worked with Mr Haumaha over several years.
Dame Nadia Glavish said that she has worked with Mr Haumaha for years and she has never seen him ever do anything inappropriate in his Police role.
“Wally has had promotions throughout the past 14 years, so why is this one being questioned now?” she asked.
Sir Taihākurei (Eddie) Durie, Chair of the New Zealand Māori Council, said that he knows Wally Haumaha personally.
“Even accepting that a higher standard of personal integrity is required of Police, I believe that he has led such a cultural change in the Police, in the protection of the most vulnerable in our community, that the more appropriate outcome for him now would be a public endorsement of the extent of his change, and of the need for changes of that kind to be made generally throughout our communities,” he said.
Dame Iritana, who is a life member of the Maori Women’s Welfare League and remains closely connect to the kohanga reo movement, says she is known as a straight talker and she has no hesitation in saying: “Wally Haumaha is a person of infinite integrity.
“I have come to understand Wally’s ability to build relationships with communities and I respect how he adds value to the Police force.”
Pancha Narayanan, President of the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils (MNZ), said that he has known Mr Haumaha since 2004 and that the Council wants to acknowledge his valuable contribution.
Leading Ethnic Strategy
“This includes leading the Ethnic Strategy in New Zealand Police. The MNZ executive team and I worked closely with Mr Haumaha and his team on this initiative. This commitment to diversity, fairness and inclusion won NZ Police an IPANZ Award. It also opened doors for people from diverse cultural backgrounds to find meaningful work. It also opened doors for more recruitment from migrant communities.
“We also acknowledge his work to confront the incidence of violence against women. An example was the ‘handbag snatching’ incidents in South Auckland involving the Chinese community as victims and Polynesian young men as offenders.
“As MNZ chair, I worked with Mr Haumaha to address the concerns of the Auckland Chinese communities that were unhappy with the safety for their women. It was initially seen as a racist attack against Chinese women. This concern resonated nationwide at that time. Mr Haumaha and I travelled to at least six regions despite our busy schedules to listen to communities. We also specifically worked with the Chinese community of Auckland.
“It was Mr Haumaha’s leadership of this matter, and the proposal that he placed within the Police, that gave rise to what we know today as the Community Patrol – built on the principles for Maori Wardens. It was an exemplary effort – done without any changes to legislation or regulation. This showed us that a multicultural and inclusive approach was possible if senior officials in government set their heart to it, Mr Narayanan said.
(Picture of Wallace Haumaha from file)