Staff Reporter –
The efforts of the New Zealand Police to encourage various ethnic groups to join its ranks received another boost with the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Te Wananga O Aotearoa last week.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush and Te Wananga O Aotearoa Chief Executive Jim Mather signed the Agreement on July 24 in the South Auckland suburb of Auckland to consolidate the relationship that began in 2007.
Commissioner Bush said that the Agreement was for delivery of a Police Pre-Recruit Programme for Maori, Pacific and Ethnic applicants.
“The renewal is a reflection of the ongoing relationship and joint efforts around recruitment to increase the diversity within the New Zealand Police,” he said.
“Attracting people with the right skills to serve on the frontline is essential to pursuing our organisational mission to be the safest country in the world and reflect the communities in which we work,” he added.
Commissioner Bush said that as New Zealand grows into an exciting and vibrant place to live with an ever changing population, there is a responsibility which falls on the Police to encourage and grow the cultural competencies in its staff and throughout the ranks.
“This is one of the major reasons why Valuing Diversity is now one of the core values of the New Zealand Police. The variety of language, cultural understanding, sporting connections, and belief systems, adds value to the response provided and staff engagement with communities every day,” he said.
The career preparation course delivered is considered to be a stepping stone and support network for young people as they apply for an extraordinary career within New Zealand Police. Since that first course, more than 70 students have become constables serving communities around the country.
Constable Eddie Mulipola, the first graduate of the course to become a Police Officer, said that the Course helped him to join the Police.
“If I had not pursued the course, I may not thought about a Police career on my own, but being part of a group with the same goals, motivated me to keep going,” he said.
Constable Shazmeen Khan, the first Muslim woman on the course, said, “This is the best job you can ever have; it teaches you a lot about life, yourself and what you are capable of achieving. Being Muslim has certainly given me an advantage while working with the Muslim community. I feel that they are more open and there is an understanding that they know I can relate to them,” she said.
The New Zealand Police currently accounts for more than 100 ethnic groups and iwi and during the ten years covering 2004-2014, the share of women has increased 44% and Maori by 20%. The number of Pasifika has increased by 57%, while there has been a multi-fold increase in the number of Asian police officers.
Women set a new record during the financial year 2014-2015 with their share in the College placed at 34%
- Police Commissioner Mike Bush signing the MoU with Te Wananga O Aotearoa Chief Executive Jim Mather in Auckland on July 24.
- Police Commissioner Mike Bush with Shazmeen Khan at the Signing Ceremony