Iwi And Police Stronger Together
Police and iwi have co-designed the checkpoints, south
and north of
Tāmaki-Makaurau, working to each other’s strengths, and demonstrating the
success of genuine Treaty partnerships.
This has happened due
to the combined efforts of Police and iwi
together to put the community at the heart of local policing.
“This is a really great example
of positive and constructive working
relationships and highlights what can be done when both iwi and Police are
open to operating differently and thinking in a more culturally attuned way,
to keep our communities safe," says Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha.
"I am very proud of the distance we have
travelled together in partnership,
valuing the contribution and the experience that sits both within Police and
iwi, sharing and caring for each other.
"We have come a long way as an organisation,
policing with the consent of our
people, that gives reality to that historic tradition - the Police are the
public and the public are the Police. Simply put, working together to protect
our country from the pandemic.
"It speaks to how we police the
boundaries as real partners, recognising
Māori mätauranga, knowledge, customs and traditions. But, it’s not just
about checkpoints - the strength of what we have done together enables us to
have more connected conversations around how we engage with iwi Māori, on a
range of issues to keep our people safe.
The Waikato boundary checks started two weeks
ago, where karakia was
performed on the banks of the Waikato River ahead of the formal establishment
of the southern boundary checkpoint of Tāmaki Makaurau, says D/C Haumaha.
lament of karakia tawhito was conducted to acknowledge
waiora of the whenua, the awa, Police staff on the checkpoints, and the safe
passage of the community."
Karakia was also performed by iwi at the
commencement of the northern
checkpoints, and Ngāti Whätua have set up vaccination and COVID-19 testing
at local marae close to the northern checkpoint to encourage and support
local hapū and iwi.
Karakia are an important and traditional practice
within te ao Māori to
settle, seek spiritual guidance and protection from those past, for those
present, and increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome. More
importantly, it enables Police to unlock the knowledge, skills and networks
in a way that creates genuine engagement and better results.
“To be able to start the
operation in this way is fantastic and
how well policing operations and te ao Māori can work together in
are adamant that early engagement,
communications and a sense of iwi and hapū working together with Police
means containment and protection can be realised."
Papa of Waikato-Tainui and a member of the Police
Māori Focus Forum says collaboration and meaningful partnership is key.
strengthened relationships with Māori Responsive Managers
Leaders in both Waikato and Counties Manukau sees issues resolved quickly and
efficiently, with cultural considerations at the forefront," says Rahui Papa.
"The place of tikanga
and best practice in these relationships is an
not just for a pandemic context, but further into the future. Long may it
Acting Inspector Todd Bartlett,
Māori Responsiveness Manager for Waitematā
says he is grateful for the support from Ngāti Whätua at the northern
"In terms of the
northern checkpoint, Ngāti Whätua has again shown
commitment to the close relationship that we are grateful to share, by having
volunteers standing with us on the line and supporting Police and Defence
"Their knowledge of tikanga
has been utilised on numerous occasions where
staff have benefitted from guidance and support on matters concerning Te Ao
"Our iwi volunteers
have often provided the calming influence when staff
been dealing with emotionally charged situations, particularly around
Dame Naida Glavish of
Ngāti Whātua is passionate about the
between iwi and Police.
about meaningful engagement with iwi at all costs. It’s
desire of iwi, that all Māori make testing for COVID and getting a
vaccination a priority," she says. "As well as that, iwi want to keep iwi
safe and work alongside Police at border controls.”
Waikato Māori want to ensure the safety of their people, says D/C Haumaha.
“In terms of
Waikato Māori, they want to keep their people safe from
Delta variant. They are very supportive of Police managing the border and
checkpoints and have assisted in addressing any initial border related issues
with a local hapū in the area. They have left Police to manage the borders
and checkpoints, while they get on with the key task of getting as many of
their people vaccinated and supported.
"COVID-19 will be with us for a long time
and if we haven’t got the support
of iwi Māori and hapū who know the community better than we do, we’ll be
“This is engagement with our people. This is how to do it well.
"If we want to be
proactive Treaty partners this is an exemplar of what
can look like if we engage meaningfully from a Māori perspective. This will
resonate with Māori people around the country - and it’s not a big or hard
thing to do."
including an updated alert level boundary map, is
on the COVID-19 website covid19.govt.nz.