Members of the independent panel appointed by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to investigate bias in the police force gathered in Wellington this week.
They were at Police National Headquarters for the announcement that two research teams and a statistician will join the kaupapa. The panel and researcher will take a deep dive into the community to gauge what's happening and how this evidence can be used to evolve the system.
Panel members include:
- Long-time Māori justice advocate Tā Kim Workman KNZM QSO, a retired public servant, whose career spans roles in Police, the Office of the Ombudsman, State Services Commission, Department of Māori Affairs and the Ministry of Health.
- Phylesha Brown-Acton MNZM, a champion for the rights of gender and sexual minority groups within Aotearoa and the Asia and Pacific region.
- Dr Katie Bruce, former acting director of Strategy, Rights and Advice at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
- Former Ackland Councillor Fa'anānā Efeso Collins.
- Dr Penny Hagen, who has a PhD in participatory design and her work integrates approaches from health, design, youth development.
- Helen Leahy, former Pouārahi/CE of the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island.
- Jo McLean, a Ngai Tahu representative who has extensive governance experience.
- Lady Tureiti Moxon, chair of the National Urban Māori Authority and MD of Te Kōhao Health.
- Grant O’Fee MNZM, who held several senior police positions during his 44-year career and was also Tongan Police Commissioner for three years.
- Rahui Papa, an author who is widely recognised as an authority on Waikato reo and tikanga.
- Associate Professor Khylee Quince, Dean of the School of Law at Auckland University.
- Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley FRSNZ, writer and editor of 27 books and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
- Anne Waapu, a kaupapa Māori researcher.
- And Glenn Wilcox, co-chair of the Affinity Charitable Services Trust and a board member of Healthwest and the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education.
Lady Moxon said she’s looking forward to getting to look under the police bonnet to see how the machinery works.
“It takes courage for police to embark on this new way of transforming their own awareness and practice,” she said.
“The more culturally aware and respectful of Māori reality and ways of life, the healthier this country will be as a whole.”
The panel will provide expert, independent, academic, cultural and community advice to the research programme.
The two research teams, who will complete the next phase of the Understanding Policing Delivery Research Programme – Ihi Research of Christchurch, will be led by Dr Catherine Savage and Dr Anne Hynds; and Mana Pounamu Consulting, led by Dr Pounamu Jade Aikman.
Workman told Radio Waatea: “Our goal is to pursue and promote fair and equitable policing and that is why the police staff have really brought into that. They want fair and equitable policing as well. We’re travelling on the same waka really.”