Senior constable John Thomas Tangaere is the iwi liaison officer for Hastings police and previously fronted a national campaign in Hawke's Bay to recruit more Maori people into the force.

Mr Tangaere said police were aiming to have "more staff that are Maori and able to assist our people, by providing an understanding of the culture and assisting people in our community to transform the state of crime to a state of wellbeing".

He had also been involved in the development of the Violence Free Strategy for Ngati Kahungunu.

Mr Tangaere was an old boy of Te Aute College in central Hawke's Bay and was also a former chairperson of the school's board of trustees.


He is now the deputy chairperson of the St Joseph's Maori Girls' College Board.

His work in education also included playing a key role in helping to design Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Ara Hou, a school which opened in Napier in 2007.

He has also coached waka ama and first XV rugby teams at schools, as well as tutoring kapa haka and mentoring students.

Sport has also played a big part in his life and his work for the community. Mr Tangaere is a life member and former coaching director of Te Rau Oranga O Ngati Kahungunu Waka Ama Club, where he has coached a number of paddlers aged eight to 19 years to national success in club and secondary school competitions.

He is also a member of Waipatu and Parearau kapa haka groups and teaches mau rakau, a traditional martial art, and waka ama through marae programmes.

Mr Tangaere is a trustee on the Roopu Manaaki Maori Advisory Committee for Sports Hawke's Bay, chairperson of Nga Taonga Takaro Traditional Maori games Trust, and a judge for the annual Ngati Kahungunu Maori Sports Awards.