Police push for Maori recruits at Te Matatini


Police officers singing and dancing on stage may be a sight rarely seen, but that's exactly what happened when police were at Te Matatini.

Police at the national event had a mission to inspire more young Maori to become a police officer.

The Rotorua event was a resounding success, with 41 Kapa Haka from around New Zealand and Australia and over 20,000 spectators celebrating the best of Maori culture.

Police set up their own stage to entertain spectators and provide information about a career.

To get the crowds involved police hosted activities such as on-stage press-up competitions, dance-offs, karaoke and police trivia.

The intensity stepped up when Sergeant Darren-Leigh Paki challenged the Fire Service and the New Zealand Army to an onstage press-up competition, complete with his 10kg of police body armour.

While the results for the nation's strongest service remain inconclusive, the overall effort was well worth it.

More than 160 people registered their interest to find out more about a police career.

New Zealand police general manager of Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services Superintendent Wally Haumaha said he was impressed with the spirit of the crowd, with no arrests recorded during the four day event.

Mr Haumaha said the new Turning of the Tide strategy was about police working in partnership with all Iwi to help prevent crime and victimisation in their communities.

He said this event was an example of how to police in an engaging, preventative and culturally appreciative manner.

"A big part of Police's future success rests on recruiting more young Maori leaders and in doing so, increasing the cultural competencies in our workforce."

People interesting in finding out more about a police career should visit www.newcops.co.nz


- Rotorua Daily Post

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