The first of 12 Māori Responsive Managers have been selected and were acknowledged today by whānau and the community at Te Ōhaki Marae in Huntly, a position seen to strengthen unity and relationships for Māori, Police and Government departments.
The official handover of Te Arawa descendant Frank Grant to the Waikato region, as its first Māori Responsive Manager.
Police advisor Wayne Panapa says the appointment will mean a Māori presence at the table.
“Frank will work alongside the top officers in this region,” says Panapa.
Tukoroirangi Morgan says, “Māori need to support and work with Frank. By working together, we can ease the pressures for Māori.”
There have been Māori liaisons in New Zealand Police for some years, but the Commissioner has identified a need for Māori to be able to make decisions for Māori.
“In the past, Māori had to communicate with Police in English, but now they have the capability to communicate their needs in Māori,” says Panapa.
Today's handover was due to Grant's family ties to Waikato-Tainui. Mr Morgan says it's an avenue to foster cooperation.
“Easing the pressure on Māori, and looking for new avenues to alleviate those pressures on our families. But, we need to ensure we follow through with working together, rather than just making statements,” he says.
Grant starts as soon as next week in Waikato, and the first thing he hopes to look into is discussions with the heads of department on solutions.
“I will meet with the heads of other regions, I'm looking for strategies to implement into this region,” says Grant.
Frank Grant is the first of 12 regional appointments to be made throughout the country.