Tasman District has welcomed new Police District Commander, Superintendent Tracey Thompson, Te Aitanga a Hauiti and Ngāti Whakaue.
At an official welcome at the Waikawa Marae by Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui iwi and guests in Picton, marae chairman, Rita Powick, spoke of the positive relationship between iwi and Police.
“We welcome you with open arms. While there is always work to do, we are here to support you, to guide you and to partner with you and your team,” she said.
Supt Thompson said she was extremely humbled by the special occasion. The significance of the role she has stepped into is a responsibility she accepts and carries with respect, both as a Māori leader and a police officer, she said.
Commander Thompson, who joined Police in 1995, is a highly respected member who has held a range of uniformed roles in Police National Headquarters, at the Royal New Zealand Police College and in Wellington District.
In 2021, she spent six months acting as the Director of Police’s High Performance Team, but is known to most people for her role as Area Commander for Kāpiti Mana, a position she held since 2017.
“We need to support the aspirations of our communities and work alongside them to find collaborative solutions so we can deliver the Police service our communities expect and deserve,” the new Commander said.
“Stepping into this role, it is my desire to say and do things that make our community proud.
“In every interaction we have, whether it’s dealing with offenders, victims, partners or the general public, I want local police and the local station to be seen as part of the solution and not the problem,” she said.
After 13 years away, Commander Thompson – who started in Nelson as a constable and left as a sergeant – has returned to the Tasman District where she has whānau.
“I’m thankful for the people who have given me space and encouragement to do things a different way and let me be myself,” she says.
“I’m especially thankful for District Commander Wellington, Superintendent Corrie Parnell’s leadership, support, and depth of care.”