Eastern District Police has today acknowledged the passing of Hawke’s Bay kaumatua, Des Ratima.
Des Ratima worked closely with Police for many years providing valuable guidance and support to senior Police staff working with Māori, NZ Police said in a statement.
It said his contribution had helped Police bridge important relationships within the Māori community.
Recently, New Zealand Police Deputy Commissioner Tania Kura, Assistant Commissioner Sandra Venables and Eastern District Commander Jeanette Park presented Des with a New Zealand Police service plaque with an inscription describing Des’ immense contribution to Police.
All three officers worked with Des in their successive stints as Eastern District Commander.
“Des has been a supporter of not only me but also Assistant Commissioner Venables before me and more recently of Superintendent Park,” said Deputy Commissioner Kura.
“He was very proud of our achievements as three wahine leaders in the Eastern District. I credit him with opening my mind to solving problems collaboratively and with the understanding that often there can be more than one option to choose.
“He was a gently persuasive and very insightful man and he will leave a huge gap in the Hawkes Bay Community.”
NZ Police said its thoughts were with Des’ wife Evelyn and the whanau at this very sad time.
The NZ Police plaque given to Des inscription read:
In thanking Des for his invaluable guidance, selfless service and leadership provided to Eastern District Police.
We recognise his generous heart, passion and commitment to the wellbeing of Māori and the community.
E te toka tū moana, toka tū tangata; ākina tai, ākina hau A beacon amidst the oceans, a mountain amongst men; lighthouse in the storms, shield from the billows.