Wally Haumaha appointed Deputy Commissioner
New Police Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha says he feels humbled with his new appointment and says he owes it all to the leaders of Te Ao Māori past and present. He says they were quite clear with him as to what path he should take in his career with NZ Police.
“Dr Tui Adams, Uncle Api Mahuika, Mita Mohi, Naida Glavish, Dame Iritana, my dear friend Dr Kara Puketapu.
“Their instructions to me if you could call it that, way back was, don't go back out into the district, stay in the organisation in the centre where you can become the voice for our people.”
In his role, he still retains his role as being a māngai (spokesperson) for Māori, Pacific and other ethnicities and says this appointment is quite the milestone.
“It's a significant milestone of taking Māori, Pacific ethnic services to the top of the organisation, but it also shows the confident of the Minister of Police, this government, our commissioner has in taking these issues seriously.”
He says his top goal is to reduce the number of offenders, many of whom are Māori, from entering into the justice system.
“At this point in time, when you look at the prison population and look at Māori 30 percent is our target to reduce that.
“How I can work closely with the Ministry of Justice through courts to take our people or prevent our people from going to court.
“We have a very significant target of reducing Māori reoffending by 25 percent.”
Haumaha also has a programme to stop the cycle of recidivism to help ensure young Māori can leave the cycle.
“There used to be a saying: once in the system - you're there for a long time.
“What we want to do is prevent people from getting into the system in the first place and if they are there then how do we prevent them coming back again.”
He’s also collaborating with iwi to source a new generation of police officers.
“We're focussed on running a huge recruiting programme in partnership with the Māori king at Tūrangawaewae in September and we will be calling on tribal regions right throughout the country to bring twenty to thirty of their best and brightest.”
There are hopes that one day there will be more Māori officers than offenders.