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PM on landmark agreement between Police and Maori

19 May 2000

PM backs landmark agreement between Police and Maori

Prime Minister Helen Clark today congratulated the leadership of major iwi groups and police in the Bay of Plenty for making a solemn commitment to work together to address Maori offending and victimisation.

"The signing today at Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, of a memorandum of understanding between the police and iwi leaders is a landmark event.

"A considerable amount of work has gone into forging the agreement and it is likely to be the first of many between police and iwi. In that sense it is a blueprint for the future.

"The issues of Maori offending rates and Maori-Police relations demand new approaches and solutions, and it is critical that Maori are also part of reaching those solutions.

"The Government strongly supports new and innovative programmes aimed at building safer communities.

"This agreement is aimed at bringing about organisational changes to police practices and culture, recruiting more Maori into the police, giving Maori an input into strategic policy initiatives, and providing workshops and training for police.

"These kinds of measures have my fullest support, as they provide a solid platform for police and iwi to build on

"This partnership agreement in the Bay of Plenty is a most encouraging sign that we can meet the aspirations of both police and Maori leaders," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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