The New Zealand Police has appointed Rakesh Naidoo to the post of Inspector.
He is the first person of Indian origin (and from the Asian communities) in such a rank with the Police.
Inspector Naidoo will be the National Strategic Ethnic Advisor at the Police National Headquarters in Wellington. His responsibilities would include coaching and mentoring Asian staff and developing partnership arrangements with Asian interest groups to implement strategies to prevent crime and victimisation.
He will report to Superintendent Wallace Haumaha, General Manager, Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services.
Mr Naidoo has been involved with the ethnic communities for more than ten years, organising and attending seminars and workshops.
A certification ceremony was held at the Police Headquarters in Wellington on August 10, at which Police Commissioner Peter Marshal said that while the Police were committed to ethnic diversity among its staff, Mr Naidoo was promoted to the post purely based on his abilities, achievements and potential.
“For you, this rank brings additional responsibility because you will be a shining light for other police officers from ethnic backgrounds,” he told Mr Naidoo at the Ceremony, attended by Former Race Relations Conciliator Gregory Fortuin, officials of the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils, the African Union, Wellington Somali Council and the Fo Guan Shan Buddhist Temple.
A community man
South Africa born Naidoo joined the New Zealand Police in 2001, with the primary aim of working with ethnic communities.
“I knew that the New Zealand Police is a respected organisation with strong values, and that by working with them I could have a positive impact on ethnic communities,” he said.
Mr Haumaha said that Mr Naidoo worked hard to reach his current position, including undergoing a development programme.
“He came through with flying colours. The time he spent in Christchurch after the earthquake as a part of the team responding to the needs of 20 different nationalities was a real affirmation of his skills,” he said.
Mr Naidoo began his career as a constable in Auckland and initiated many programmes beyond the requirements of his duties.
He moved to Canterbury in 2005 as the district’s first Ethnic Liaison Officer.
He was the first uniformed Asian staff member to work in the South Island.
Following a two-year tenure at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Wellington, he joined the Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services team at the Police National Headquarters.