Saturday, July 20, 2024

Police sign on for Wairoa community

In a unique collaboration, NZ Police and Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua today officially signed a contract demonstrating a continued commitment to building a more resilient, safer, and vibrant Wairoa.

The contract outlines an undertaking by Police to provide $150,000 to fund the salaries of two special roles focused on finding alternative and viable pathways for people, especially rangatahi, living in Wairoa.

The positions of Safety Co-ordinator (12-month fixed term position) and Research and Development Advisor (6-month fixed term position) while funded by Police, will be employed by Wairoa Taiwhenua and will also report to, and be supported by, the Wairoa Community Partnership Group – made up of local community leaders.

Ultimately, the two successful applicants will be tasked with finding tangible solutions and strategies that will help reduce harm in the community.

This year, through Operation Atlas, and the recent termination of Operation Horizon, Police has focused on the disruption and prevention of organised crime and gang-related offending in Wairoa.

“We made it clear at the outset of the Wairoa phase of Operation Atlas, that Police undertaking enforcement activity can only ever temporarily disrupt harm,” says Eastern District Commander Superintendent Jeanette Park.

“In order to make a difference to long-standing issues, we knew we needed to do things differently and come up with long-term solutions with support from our partners and the community.”

The Police Iwi and Community group has made the funding available.

“This initiative aligns with Police’s broader organised crime strategy, as well as the multi-agency Resilience to Organised Crime in Communities programme which seeks to strengthen the wellbeing of whānau and build community resilience to the conditions that enable organised crime to operate,” says Superintendent Park.

“A decision to partner with Wairoa Taiwhenua was a simple one. It is an integral part of the Wairoa community and has a true understanding of the community’s needs.”

Wairoa Taiwhenua chairman, Nigel How says the two roles are a positive investment in the community.

“Collaborative and genuine team-work like this is the only way to achieve actual results. Iwi, non-government organisations, local and central government, including Police, all have a responsibility to deliver the best outcomes possible. We fail when our whanau and community are struggling. We achieve when our whānau and community are thriving,” says Mr How.  

“As the employer, Wairoa Taiwhenua is looking forward to providing support to the pair so they can both fully achieve their contractual obligations in line with our manaakitanga for the benefit of all our whānau and the entire community. “

Wairoa Mayor and Wairoa Community Partnership Group chairman Craig Little says the initiative is representative of months of planning and commitment to a safer Wairoa.

“In particular, I want to thank our local Police who have led this initiative and have a genuine understanding of what our community needs,” says Mayor Little.

“We are now looking for two experienced people who understand the complexities and dynamics of our rural community and are prepared to do their very best for Wairoa.”

Anyone enquiring about the roles is asked to contact Wairoa Taiwhenua via

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