New Police Campaign at the heart of communities

Venkat Raman

If you want to know what makes an Officer of the New Zealand Police, a new Video, just released, will be a source of help.

You or someone you know may perhaps be even inspired to join the New Zealand Police who believe in ‘Safer Communities-Together.’

In essence, the New Zealand Police is not a Force- but a Service. They put their hearts into everything they do- except of course criminals, who they apprehend so that you and your family can be safe and happy.

The Video, incorporating a new Recruitment Campaign, could be highly motivational and in fact would help you to change your perception of our Police; in case you have sported a wrong impression all along.

Story behind tattoos

The Campaign invites you to perceive the lives of some of the Officers who literally wear their hearts on their sleeves.

New Zealand Police Deputy Chief Executive (Media and Communications) Jane Archibald said that one can learn of the personal experiences of some of the Officers and why they sport their unique tattoos and how they are trained to be more effective in our increasingly diverse communities across the country.

“All police staff were invited to participate in the campaign and an unprecedented number put their hands up to tell their stories.  The seven staff chosen to be in the campaign all have different personal experience and cultural backgrounds,” she said.

Ms Archibald said that the Recruiting Campaign targets 18-30-year-olds from the Upper North Island area to join the Police.

Powerful and emotive

While a majority of the recruits already have a tattoo, it is still one of the most commonly asked questions of the recruitment team.

“I believe this is one of the most powerful and emotive recruitment campaigns we have done. I think our video speaks for itself and I hope that it resonates with our key audience and encourages them to join,” Ms Archibald said.

“This campaign focuses on the importance of bringing your authentic self to policing and shows how someone’s own personal experiences can be valuable to their work,” she said.

New Zealand Police has set itself a target of transforming its workforce so that it fully reflects the communities it serves.

Constables’ narration

Constable Angel Pera, who is now with the Henderson Police in West Auckland, is a recent graduate of the Royal New Zealand Police College. She is a young single mother, with Tā moko about her whanau, whenua and whakapapa.

All of which contributed towards her journey and career with the New Zealand Police.

“I carry the mana of my Tupuna (ancestors) wherever I go, this is where my strength and determination comes,” she said.

Many tattoos have cultural meaning, showing strength or mana, or life experiences, bringing whanau together, with a connection to heritage.

Constable Tephui Rudolph has memories of his family, a sister who died of cancer tattooed as angel wings on his body.

“I moved away from my parents at a young age and the tattoo in relation to that talks of courage, independence and strength. I have a new one in progress which brings both my mum and my dad’s side together. It also tells the story of the beginning of a new career as a police officer and the hurdles I had to finally graduate,” he said.

Rainbow Bird

Constable Leanne Benjamin, Diversity Liaison Officer in Dunedin, has a Rainbow Bird which showcases strength.

“I have several tattoos with various meanings and through age and experiences I have a number of stories to tell. This Bird represents my freedom to express myself and be my true self, at work and home, the colours represent our Rainbow communities,” she said.

Another member of the New Zealand Police, not shown in the video, Maori Responsiveness Advisor Sergeant Juanita (Whiti) Timutimu said, “I think I am the only serving Police Officer with a Moko Kauae.  This is only given to wahine.

“Two of my kuia had kauae and it was a great privilege to receive it. Police are people too and we want the public to know that our staff sometimes make a connection with the people due to their tattoos not in spite of them,” she said.

It was a first for the Police, with the Maori Responsive Advisor becoming the first female officer to have a Moko Kauae.

Encouraging youngsters

“In our role as Maori Police Officers, we bring everything to our Mahi. It is not just about our reo (language), it is about everything that encompasses being Maori — including moko. I hope that our young ones with Moko Kauae, who want to come into the Police Force can feel that they can,” Ms Timutimu said.

If you are interested in joining Police, whether you are tattooed or not, and have some more questions about tattoos or any part of the recruitment process, contact www.newcops.co.nz to find out more.

Author’s Note: I deem it a great honour to be the Wing Patron of the New Zealand Police Recruit Wing 328. This was a rare opportunity and a role, which I hoped I fulfilled with a sense of responsibility and purpose. As my Wing graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College in Wellington on Thursday, August 1, 2019, it was a moment of joy, pride, satisfaction and achievement, not only for the new recruits, but also for their teachers, trainers, superior Police Officers, parents, relatives and friends. I am sure that they add value and great service to the New Zealand Police.

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