Racism within the NZ Police must be addressed: NZ Maori Council calls on a national Parliamentary Inquiry
The New Zealand Maori Council is calling on the Government to establish an Inquiry into Institutional racism in the New Zealand Police. Council’s Executive Director Matthew Tukaki has said “for too long our people within the force and outside in the community have been unfairly targeted and treated as second class citizens and this must end. In no way is racism in the ranks of Police again
st Maori officers and staff and of those people against Maori acceptable”.
“The latest iteration of this is the damning frontline policy around SUV’s with guns cocked driving around brown postcodes – this is a policy that quite clearly is aimed at Maori and people of color and to be frank this is in stark opposition to what they should be doing which is engaging more deeply with these communities when it comes to lowering crime. And its not just that example – there are the many stories that come to me about young Maori boys being pulled over for no real reason. In any other country it would be racial profiling. Then there was the case of an Auckland police officer who swore, called a man a c***, made racist remarks and threatened to use pepper spray on a man during an arrest last year, the Independent Police Conduct Authority found. That Police left the force but my question is how did he get a look in in the first place. There are dozens if not hundreds of reports of racism over the years.” Tukaki said
“Then there is the research that has largely been ignored that proves the Maori Councils point: “three pieces of relevant research on police attitudes to Maori, the MRL attitudinal surveys of the mid-1990s (MRL, 1993; 1995), and Dr Mike Roguski and Pania Te Whaiti’s Maori Attitudes Towards Police and Victoria University’s criminology research units Police Attitudes Towards Maori project, a summary of which was published by New Zealand Police and Te Puni Kokiri in 2001. What this body of research demonstrates is that many police officers hold negative and, in some cases, racist attitudes toward Maori.” Tukaki said
“The other disturbing thing is the case of Maoridom’s highest ranking Police officer, Wally Haumaha. This man is one of this nations most experienced officers and here he is being treated like a outside chance of becoming the Police Commissioner – when he has the operational, community and management experience to undertake the role. Passed over by a largely pakeha process that does more to exclude people like Wally than include him. Nothing short of scurrilous.” Tukaki said
“So this is what we are seeking. Firstly its about time that Maori are recognized in the ranks of the New Zealand Police and this includes the creation of a new role in equal rank to the Police Commissioner for Maori. In addition to this we will be writing to the Maori Affairs Select Committee of the Parliament to begin an Inquiry into institutional racism within the New Zealand Police. In addition to this we are also giving consideration to bringing on a Waitangi Tribunal and if the Parliament does not act through the Maori Affairs Select Committee we are also considering an open Inquiry conducted by the New Zealand Maori Council using section 18 of our Maori Community Development Act.” Tukaki said