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Admission of ‘unconscious bias’ against Maori welcomed

Police admission of ‘unconscious bias’ against Maori welcomed

9 November 2015

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has been commended for admitting “unconscious bias” by New Zealand police against Maori. The commendation comes from Rangimarie Naida Glavish, speaking both as president of the Maori Party, and co-chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua.

“ It was both refreshing and heartening to hear Commissioner Bush freely admit on TV3’s ‘The Nation’ programme this weekend that his force had been guilty of what he termed ‘unconscious bias’ against Maori, and that steps are being taken to eliminate disparity in the way that police apply their discretion, “ said Ms Glavish.

“In my political capacity and as an iwi leader, I welcome Mr Bush’s promise to work with iwi and Maori to correct the situation.”

Ms Glavish added that she would raise this issue at a meeting next week of the Iwi Chairs, as well with her Maori Party Parliamentarians. “We do not condone breaches of the law by anyone, of any ethnicity. It is now up to us as Maori to respond positively to this initiative by Commissioner Bush, to encourage among our people the respect for law and order that should, and generally does, dominate the thinking and actions of every New Zealander at all times and in all circumstances.

“At the same time, it would be helpful if the Commissioner could tell us in greater detail what steps his force will be taking to eliminate unconscious bias, and to treat everyone on an equal basis,” Ms Glavish concluded.


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