INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hawkins Speech - Middle Management

Published: Tue 7 Aug 2001 03:50 PM
SPEECH NOTES FOR
KIA PUAWAI MDDLE MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE
HAMILTON
AUGUST 7 - 9
MINISTER OF POLICE, HON GEORGE HAWKINS
E Nga Mana
E Nga Reo
E Nga Waka
Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou, Tena Tatou Katoa
Acknowledgements
- Nga Kaumatua Me Nga Rangatira - Api [Mahuika], Tui [Adams], Tena Korua
- Matua, Pita [Sharples], Tena Koe E Hoa
- Superintendent Clint Rickards [Waikato District Commander]
- Superintendent Pieri Munro [Conference Facilitator]
- Nga Manuhiri [Visitors] and Distinguished Guests
INTRODUCTION
- It is great to be here today - thank you for the opportunity.
- I have been asked to talk about a very important subject for policing in New Zealand - responsiveness to Maori.
- I want to start by saying that the New Zealand Police really are leaders in the field of Maori responsiveness.
- The importance of responding to the community, and particularly Maori, has long been recognised within the Police. And the thinking is being put into practice more and more.
- So today, my main message is "keep up the great work".
- I want to:
- briefly recap on why responsiveness to Maori (and other ethnic groups) is essential for effective policing;
- talk about the vision of the Government;
- take a look at the progress Police have already made
- talk about the role each and every one of you play in making the policy work, as leaders within the police.
- This conference is a great chance to celebrate the many initiatives already taken to improve responsiveness to Maori, and a chance to look forward to a future where Police are even more responsive to the communities they serve.
THE NEED FOR RESPONSIVENESS
- Increasingly, New Zealanders are recognising the fact that Maori culture is an integral part of life in New Zealand.
- Understanding has to begin somewhere, and for many New Zealanders that is by learning a few words of Maori, understanding a little bit of culture or listening to a different point of view.
- As an organisation, the Police also had to start somewhere. The shift from a largely homogenous organisation to one that reflects and responds to the diverse range of New Zealanders it serves is not inconsiderable. But that change is well and truly underway.
- I think it is fair to say that this government has shown a real commitment to Maori, by requiring government organisations to understand and work to meet the needs of Maori.
- I am not talking about treating Maori differently - I am talking about working out ways to deliver services to those who need them.
- The need for responsiveness to Maori (and other ethnic groups) is only going to grow. Statistical projections suggest that by 2051 we will have a population that is around 22% Maori and 12% Pacific Islanders.
- So it is a source of some reassurance that the responsiveness strategies are well on track.
- Of course we need to keep thinking of how we can improve and extend Police responsiveness - that requires vision and imagination.
THE VISION
- We hear all the time of the disparities between Maori New Zealanders and other New Zealanders. This news comes from almost every sector - Maori tend to fare badly in health, education, socieoeconomic, housing and of course, crime, statistics.
- This government is committed to reducing the disparities. And we know that the disparities are linked.
- It is not hard logic - poor education, low incomes and substandard housing are the lot of many Maori - and living in those conditions makes criminal activity a lot more appealing.
- We cannot address one disparity in isolation. To attempt this would be short-sighted. We cannot simply work to stop Maori offending, without also working to address the general status of Maori in New Zealand.
- That is why this Government has injected significant funds into improving the lot of Maori - I want to point out a few important initiatives to you:
„Ï Housing - restored income related rents for low-income tenants - approximately 16 000 Maori tenants receive income related rents.
„Ï Education - scholarships to encourage Maori to become teachers, study support centres, adult literacy programmes
„Ï Health - smoking cessation programmes, Maori provider development fund, immunisation programmes, Healthline (telephone health advice service)
„Ï Employment - Maori employment strategy
I am proud of the "across the board" approach we have taken as a government. And I am also proud of the progress Police have made.
ACHIEVEMENTS
- I just want to mention a few initiatives of note that Police have already put in place:
- New recruitment programme - we are seeing a nationwide and local emphasis on ensuring that a diverse group of people police the country. All Police Districts are working actively to recruit Maori applicants to join the Police, using avenues like local marae and community groups to promote this career opportunity.
- All 12 Police Districts are running internal training programmes on the Treaty of Waitangi and responsiveness to Maori, and all new recruits now receive training on those issues.
- All Police Districts now have an Iwi Liaison Officer.
- Most Police Districts now have a formal relationship with their local Iwi.
- And all Districts have formal and informal relationships with other agencies to promote an integrated approach to issues.
- Police run programmes to reduce Maori offending and victimisation. The youth at risk programme is still reducing offending by participants by almost 80% - that is an impressive statistic! Note that over 50% of participants in YAR tend to Maori/PI. [Perhaps refer to own experience of YAR here].
- Another example of proactive work is the driver licensing programmes for Maori now being run in all Districts.
LEADERSHIP
- As I said earlier, you are all leaders. You are leaders within the Police and you have influence over the way the police service our community. And don't forget you are also leaders in our society.
- To have got to where you are, you all have a huge range of skills, and you are furthering those every day. One of the things I would urge you to do with those skills, is to find new ways of improving police responsiveness to Maori.
- You have a huge influence on junior staff and the responsibility for bringing future leaders through the ranks. That is why it is essential that you progress the vision of responsiveness, not just to Maori but to the community as a whole.
CONCLUSION
- In conclusion, I congratulate all of you on where Police have come to with responsiveness to Maori.
- The success to date has been achieved through the vision and hard work of many individuals, including each of you.
- I encourage you all to use your role as leaders to further the vision of even better responsiveness to Maori.
- I have enjoyed the chance to address you today, and wish you well for the remainder of the conference.
NO REIRA, TENA KOUTOU, TENA KOUTOU, TENA TATOU KATOA

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