Tasman’s new Māori Responsiveness Manager (MRM), Inspector Tracey Wharehoka, received a heartfelt welcome to the District at a pōwhiri at Waikawa Marae in Marlborough on Friday.
Waikawa Marae is home to Te Ātiawa, one of the eight Iwi located in Te Tau Ihu. Tracey, whose whakapapa hangs on the walls at Parihaka in Taranaki, is of Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Ruanui descent – which meant the pōwhiri at Waikawa Marae was made even more special.
Family, friends and staff travelled to Picton to attend the pōwhiri. They included members of Tracey’s Central District and Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) whānau, Marlborough Police and members of Tasman’s Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Services and Leadership Teams.
Speeches acknowledged the work that had already been undertaken to build strong relationships between Police and iwi in Te Tau Ihu. It was also clear there was much more to do, with emphasis given to listening and working together to support iwi and our communities.
Tracey was acknowledged by her peers for her ability to “listen, look and then speak”, an approach that has seen her go from strength to strength in her 20-year career with Police, as well as her passion for building relationships in and across communities.
In Tracey’s own words when speaking to the gathering on Friday, she sees her role as absolutely “not about me – it’s about everyone else”.
Tracey joins the Tasman team from her role as Senior Teaching and Learning Advisor for Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Services at the RNZPC.
She has also worked across workgroups including frontline and Road Policing, Investigations and iwi liaison. With her extensive experience and passion, she is a great asset to the Tasman team.