Monday, 5 June 2017 - 5:55am
Two police officers with strong backgrounds in Māori, ethnic services, prevention and community partnership roles are recipients of Royal Honours announced today in the Queen’s Birthday list.
They are Assistant Commissioner Wally Haumaha, the Deputy Chief Executive: Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Services who becomes an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) and Inspector Karen Henrikson, Waikato Police District Operations Support Manager who becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).
“It’s a special day for Wally and Karen, and a very proud day for New Zealand Police,” Commissioner Mike Bush said. “These honours reflect the contribution and service both officers have made and continue to make to New Zealand Police and the wider public.”
Assistant Commissioner Haumaha’s award is for services to Police and Māori, Pacific and ethnic communities. He’s been at the forefront of leading and building New Zealand Police cross-cultural capacity since 1996. His work in facilitating partnerships in New Zealand’s ethnically diverse communities is recognised here and overseas.
A key contributor to the partnership launch of ‘Turning of the Tide’, a ground-breaking Whānau Ora crime and crash prevention strategy to reduce the incarceration rates of Māori, Assistant Commissioner Haumaha also established the first MOU between Police and 14 major Iwi groups in the Bay of Plenty District. He was also instrumental in establishing the first MOU with Te Wananga o Aotearoa to launch a Police career preparation programme for Māori, Pacific and ethnic people.
“I’m overwhelmed to receive this honour,” Assistant Commissioner Haumaha said. “This is significant recognition of the work police have done and continue to undertake in partnership with Māori, Pacific and other ethnic peoples.
“I pay tribute to visionary Ngāti Porou chairman Dr Apirana Mahuika, or Uncle Api as he was known to many of us, who in 1996 was instrumental with others in changing the way we work in a true partnership with Maori.
“This award is also a tribute to Commissioner Mike Bush for his leadership in building the trust and confidence of our Māori, Pacific and Ethnic communities.
“Commitment to Māori and the Treaty are enshrined in police values from the national executive to the frontline. This opened the doors for partnerships with other ethnicities and we are all the better for it,” he said.
Innovative strategies including ‘Turning of the Tide’ and the value placed on building a diverse police workforce are signs police is on the right path, he said.
“This high award is unexpected. It’s a tribute to all the people I’ve worked with along the way. There have been challenges but our strength is what we can achieve by working together in true partnerships. Policing at Waitangi today for example is more about the positive sight of our liaison officers talking with people than the arrests and trouble experienced in days gone by.”
Inspector Henrikson’s award is for services to Police and the community. She’s held a range of roles within police and was in 2008 the first woman to be promoted to Inspector rank in the Waikato District. She’s a leading advocate for women in police at local, national and international level, and was actively involved with the recent 75th anniversary of women in police celebrations. In 2012 she was named ‘Most Outstanding Female Leader’ in the Australasian Excellence in Policing Awards.
A strong believer in the value of prevention and community partnerships, Karen was instrumental in setting up Hamilton’s Safety Comes First group, an initiative with the business community, council and health partners to improve public safety, particularly around alcohol consumption in the CBD. She also helped establish a long running inter-agency youth action group aimed at reintegrating young people back into education, and providing extensive support to at-risk families connected with criminal offending.
“This recognition was a complete and utter surprise,” Inspector Henrikson said. “My achievements in Police have heavily relied on the support of my colleagues, partner agencies and the business community. Their efforts help make a positive difference in the community.
“I love my job and the people I work with, but mostly I love seeing the great results true collaboration can achieve through making a positive change to someone’s life or making our community safer.”
The former Silver Fern netballer and former Waikato netball coach now has her eye on another ball – policing the Waikato phase of the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.
Released by Police Media Centre
Inspector Karen Henrikson
Assistant Commissioner Wally Haumaha