Anaru Pewhairangi takes on his new role as Rotorua's first Maori area commander today. Mr Pewhairangi replaces Bruce Horne, who retired at the end of last year. He was officially welcomed into his role on Te Papaiouru Marae, Ōhinemutu.
Supported by his family and tribe, Anaru Pewhairangi has high expectations for his community.
Rotorua police area commander Anaru Pewhairangi says, "This is a real honour, however, we all benefit from this. Today is a very good day for my family and myself. I am here to work alongside Māori, no matter who, no matter where."
Mr Pewhairangi has been a police officer for the past 15 years but in the last four, he has made Rotorua his home taking on the deputy chair role to the Rotorua Police Māori Advisory Board.
James Goldsmith (Chairman, Rotorua Police Maori Advisory Board) says, "He's a helper who looks out for others especially our children who have fallen on difficult times. He's deputy chair of the board I chair and we take our work seriously."
Before joining the force, Mr Pewhairangi worked in Wellington as a school teacher for eight years. As the new area commander for Rotorua, he hopes to work closely with the community.
Steve Chadwick (Kaumatua) says, "It's momentous for us as a district, it starts to say and show more than symbolical leadership for the police force, the police themselves are very proud of this decision and he's a very humble man."
Mr Pewhairangi plans to be accessible to the community and hopes to implement change in the coming months.