New police racism research panel travels to Wellington to meet senior brass

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Meet and greet (left to right) Mark Evans, Tā Kim Workman, Lady Tureiti Moxon, Andrew Coster, Wally Haumaha and Anne Waapu. Photo / Provided

Members of the independent panel appointed by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to investigate bias in the police force met in Wellington this week.

They were at National Police Headquarters for the announcement that two research teams and a statistician will join the kaupapa. The panel and researcher will dive deep into the community to assess what is happening and how this evidence can be used to move the system forward.

Panel members include:

  • Longtime Maori justice advocate, Tā Kim Workman KNZM QSO, a retired civil servant, whose career spanned positions in the police, Ombudsman’s Office, State Services Commission, Department of Maori Affairs and the Department of Health.
  • Phylesha Brown-Acton MNZM, a champion for the rights of sexual and gender minority groups within Aotearoa and the Asia and Pacific region.
  • Dr Katie Bruce, former Acting Director of Strategy, Rights and Advice at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
  • Former Ackland Fa’anānā Efeso Collins advisor.
  • Dr. Penny Hagen, who has a PhD in participatory design and her work integrates health, design and youth development approaches.
  • Helen Leahy, former Pouārahi/CE of Whānau Ora commissioning agency for the South Island.
  • Jo McLean, a representative from Ngai Tahu who has extensive governance experience.
Kahurangi Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi has been appointed as a member of the Māori Focus Forum.  Photo / Provided
Kahurangi Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi has been appointed as a member of the Māori Focus Forum. Photo / Provided

  • Lady Tureiti Moxon, Chair of the National Urban Māori Authority and MD of Te Kōhao Health.
  • Grant O’Fee MNZM, who held several senior police positions during his 44-year career and also served as Commissioner of Tonga Police for three years.
  • Rahui Papa, an author widely recognized as an authority on Waikato reo and tikanga.
  • Associate Professor Khylee Quince, Dean of the University of Auckland Law School.
  • Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley FRSNZ, writer and editor of 27 books and Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
  • Anne Waapu, Kaupapa Maori researcher.
  • And Glenn Wilcox, co-chairman of the Affinity Charitable Services Trust and board member of Healthwest and Sir Peter Blake Marine Education.

Lady Moxon said she was looking forward to being able to look under the police hood to see how the machines work.

“It takes courage for the police to engage in this new way of transforming their own consciousness and practice,” she said.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster and Deputy Wally Haumaha meet panel member Lady Tureiti Moxon.  Photo / Provided
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster and Deputy Wally Haumaha meet panel member Lady Tureiti Moxon. Photo / Provided

“The more culturally aware and respectful Maori reality and ways of life are, the healthier this country will be as a whole.”

The panel will provide expert, independent, academic, cultural and community advice to the research program.

The two research teams, which will complete the next phase of the Understanding Policing Delivery – Ihi Research of Christchurch research programme, will be led by Dr Catherine Savage and Dr Anne Hynds; and Mana Pounamu Consulting, led by Dr. Pounamu Jade Aikman.

Workman told Radio Waatea: ‘Our aim is to pursue and promote fair and just policing and that’s why police personnel have been really committed to it. They also want fair and just policing. We are really traveling on the same waka.

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