New Zealand Police is launching a new recruitment campaign designed to attract wāhine/women Māori.
Commissioner of Police Andrew Coster says wāhine Māori are the most under-represented demographic in Police and the new campaign, Puhikura, sets out to change that.
"Māori must be fully represented within our organisation to ensure we represent and serve our whole community."
New Zealand Police acknowledges the need for more wāhine Māori to join —because of the unique skills and understanding they can bring to keeping their communities safe
"I am proud to launch Puhikura, which has had the input and support of my Māori Focus Forum and which embraces a Te Ao Māori approach of story-telling."
Made by wāhine Māori for wāhine Māori, the candid documentary series champions the power of stories as taonga.
These five wāhine reflect on what calls them forward and holds them back as they consider a career with police.
Since 2017, police has been actively recruiting a more diverse workforce to ensure that every ethnicity in New Zealand is fairly represented.
Recruitment of Māori has improved overall, with a 30 per cent increase in constabulary who are Māori, and 60 per cent increase of wāhine Māori.
However, wāhine Māori still comprise only 3.6 per cent of the police, despite making up 8.4 per cent of NZ population.
This launch comes after reaching the milestone of a 25 per cent female constabulary workforce, achieved with the graduation of Wing 354 this month, and in advance of the graduation of Wing 355, which has the highest-ever proportion of Māori recruit members.
The name Puhikura was gifted by Rahui Papa of Waikato Tainui, a member of the Commissioner’s Māori Focus Forum.
"The name Puhikura means a woman of renown, mana wāhine, a settler of peace, a beacon of unity," says Rahui.
"It also refers to a prized taonga, which is fitting for these stories.
"Puhikura is absolutely appropriate to encourage the participation of maareikura (chiefly women) into the NZ Police.”
Immediate Past president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, Prue Kapua says "we are able to work with the New Zealand Police and have input to achieve the solutions that we want to see for our wāhine and their whānau… League members are embedded in the communities so we know our communities, we can work with our people."
The wāhine of Puhikura share their experiences as both inspiration, and a contribution to cultural healing, connection, and growing trust.
It is hoped their stories can inspire more wāhine Māori interested in joining police.
Following the launch, there will be a series of community events throughout the country where wahine, their whanau and friends can view the documentary and korero with our recruitment officers about becoming a police officer.
For more information, please go to newcops.co.nz Newcops