Independent Panel to probe scope and extent of Policing

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New Research Programme will determine Fair Policing in New Zealand

Panel Chair, Ta Kim Workman (Wikipedia)


Venkat Raman
Auckland, June 3, 2021

The New Zealand Police have appointed an Independent Panel of experts and research team to evaluate Policing in various communities and evaluate if the Department is fair in its planning, working and service delivery.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said that an announcement was made in March 2021 stating that the Police would be partnering with Te Puna Haumaru New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science at the University of Waikato, and criminal justice advocate Ta Kim Workman for the Programme.

Three key areas

He said that ‘Understanding Policing Delivery’ is a Research Programme focused to identify whether, where, and to what extent, bias exists at a system level in the operating environment of the New Zealand Police.

He said that the Programme will initially look at three key areas including (a) Who Police stop and speak to and how they engage with people (b) Decision making on when and why use of force is justified and (c) Decision-making as to when charges against a person are deemed necessary.

According to him, additional areas of focus will emerge as the Programme of work progresses.

“We understand that Policing by consent carries significant responsibilities. It is vital that our communities and whanau have trust and confidence in the way we deliver our services. This Programme is about understanding the reality of how we are currently serving our communities and gaining insights that will ensure we deliver on our commitment to our organisational values and that our actions are fair and reasonable for all New Zealanders,” Commissioner Coster said.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster (INL File Photo)


About the Panel

He said that the panel was chosen collaboratively with Panel Chair, Ta Kim Workman and that its members bring a wealth of knowledge from their chosen fields, diversity of thought, specialist expertise such as Tikanga Maori view and a wide range of experience, including understanding the voice of community.

Ta Kim Workman said that Panel members bring to the table the diversity that is Aotearoa, along with the ability to discuss systemic bias in a constructive and open way.

“We intend to provide independent and robust advice to the Research Team and the Commissioner, in a way which ensures the best outcomes for both the police and the community,” he said.

Following are the Members of the Panel.

Ta Kim Workman: His career spans roles in the Police, the Office of the Ombudsman, State Services Commission, Department of Maori Affairs, and Ministry of Health. He was the Operational Head of Prisons from 1989 to 1993. Joining the Salvation Army in 2006, Ta Kim launched the ‘Rethinking Crime and Punishment Project,’ and later formed ‘JustSpeak,’ a movement that involves young people in criminal justice advocacy and reform.

Matt Bagshaw: Co-Chair of Rainbow Pride in Auckland and Director of embie people.

Dr Katie Bruce: Manager of Child Participation at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.

Fa’anana Efeso Collins: Auckland City Councillor, who, in previous roles, founded youth mentoring programmes.

Dr Penny Hagen: Director of the Auckland Co-Design-Lab, building public sector capability around participatory approaches and design for equity and intergenerational wellbeing.

Helen Leahy: Pouarahi (Chief Executive) of the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island, Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu and Trustee on the Board of PILLARS (Positive Futures for Children of Prisoners).

Lady Tureiti Moxon: Managing Director of Te Kohao Health Chair of the National Urban Maori Authority, Trustee of the Hauraki Primary Health Organisation. He is member of the Puhara Panel to the Ombudsman.

Grant O’Fee: Former New Zealand Police Superintendent, Commissioner of the Tongan Police, and current Te Pae Oranga Panel Member and Mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Scheme.

Rahui Papa: He is a recognised Authority on Waikato Reo and Tikanga and served on the Waikato-Tainui Governance Group since its inception. He also plays an integral role in the Iwi Leaders’ Forum.

Associate Professor Khylee Quince: Dean of the School of Law at Auckland University of Technology teaching Criminal Law, Youth Justice and Maori Legal Issues. He is also a Member of the Parole Board and current Chair of the New Zealand Drug Foundation.

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley FRSNZ: One of New Zealand’s leading academics in social change and demography, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Anne Waapu: Maori Researcher and Activist focused on the transformation of Aotearoa’s colonial justice system with an interest in constitutional transformation and healing historical and intergenerational trauma.

Kaumatua Glenn Wilcox: A qualified Hearings Commissioner, Co-Chair of the Affinity Charitable Trust, he has been a Member of the Independent Maori Statutory Board in Tamaki Makaurau since its inception in 2010.

About the Research

The research will be conducted by an independent team led by Professor Devon Polaschek at the University of Waikato and Director of Te Puna Haumaru New Zealand Institute of Security and Crime Science.

Professor Polaschek said, “We welcome the appointment of the Panel and the diverse range of expertise and experience that they bring to this complex issue. We look forward to working with them to tackle this challenging and multi-faceted programme of work. As a research team, we will work independently to provide insights that support both the panel and Police with their decision making.”

Members of the Research Team

Dr Lisa Tompson is a Senior Lecturer in Te Puna Haumaru NZ Institute for Security and Crime Science, University of Waikato. He has worked in the Crime Science field for 15 years. During that time, her work has helped to shape the professionalisation agenda for the UK police, and the infrastructure underpinning this transformation. In particular, she led the research team that systematically assembled the evidence base for the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction.

Dr Pounamu Jade Aikman is an Independent Scholar who is of Ngati Maniapoto, Tainui, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Awa and Pakeha descent. His PhD explored the ongoing experiences of racism, colonisation, and state violence towards Ngai Tuhoe. He completed his Doctorate at the Australian National University in Canberra and is now based in Wellington. He is an Adjunct Research Fellow in Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr Jacinta Cording is a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Canterbury whose research focusses on the individual, social, and environmental factors associated with crime-related harm, and how to best reduce this harm.

Hector Kaiwai is of Ngati Porou, Ngati Maniopoto, and Tu-hoe descent and has a BA/BMus (Conjoint) and a MA (Hons I). He has over 15 years of experience as a Kaupapa Maori researcher and evaluator consultant in the Justice, Social and Health sectors. He has extensive experience in all parts of the research and evaluation process including project management, design, interviewing, data analysis, report writing, and the publication and dissemination of evaluation results.

Tarsh Edwards is of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa, Ngati Rangimatamomoe, Ngati Rua, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whakaeke and Ngati Tautahi descent. Previously holding Principal Facilitator, Cultural Supervisor and Senior Advisor roles for Department of Corrections, she is now working in a private practice as Cultural Supervisor, Advisor, Facilitator trainer, Programme Research and Designer, Programme Writer and Evaluator.

Simon Davies is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Te Whare Wananga o Waikato (University of Waikato). He has research experience across the justice sector in New Zealand, including for the Department of Corrections, Ministry of Justice, and New Zealand Police. He completed his PhD at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, which looked at the use of risk assessment with men on parole in New Zealand. He is also a registered clinical psychologist and has a law degree.

“I expect over the next two months the panel’s advice regarding the research scope, approaches, and focus will be provided to the research team and a consensus will be reached on next steps,” Commissioner Coster said.

The Panel will hold its first meeting this month, with terms of reference finalised in July.
-From a New Zealand Police Press Release

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