Long-serving police officer Wally Haumaha has been appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Haumaha, who is currently an Assistant Commissioner, replaces Viv Rickard, whose stint as Deputy Commissioner ends on June 2 after eight years in the job.

Haumaha, who joined the police in 1984, has been appointed for a five-year term. As deputy chief executive he led the Māori, Pacific and ethnic services communities group.

"Wally Haumaha is a highly respected leader across our communities," said Police Minister Stuart Nash.

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"Mr Haumaha has driven the development and implementation of the restorative justice initiative Te Pae Oranga, formerly known as Iwi Community Panels. The panels provide alternative resolutions for low-level offending and require an offender to plead guilty, work on a plan to identify the harm they have caused, and identify ways to avoid offending again," Nash said in a statement.

"Wally Haumaha has the clear vision and leadership skills required to deliver on the Government's priorities for police. I expect him to play a key role to strengthen Māori leadership within the police and enhance the relationship between police and Māori communities, in order to reduce both victimisation and offending. He is also superbly placed to work with other justice sector agencies to reduce the prison population."

Nash decided the position should be advertised when Rickard's term expired.