National | Māori

Māori get seat at table sorting out police bias

Māori make up nearly half of the 19 member panel and research team appointed for the new research programme into how New Zealand police can ensure they deliver fair policing.

The police are partnering with the New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science at the University of Waikato, and criminal justice advocate Tā Kim Workman for the programme, 'Understanding Policing Delivery'.

The programme is focused on identifying where, and to what extent, bias exists at a system level in the police operating environment.

The move followed a public backlash at police photographing Māori youth on the street for no particular reason and not asking for permission.

The panel, chosen collaboratively with Tā Kim Workman, includes health director Lady Tureiti Moxon, Māori language and custom authority Rahui Papa, Associate Law Professor Khylee Quinceand researchers Anne Waapu and Hector Kaiwai.

“The panel members bring to the table the diversity that is Aotearoa, together with the ability to discuss systemic bias in a constructive and open way," Workman says,

"We intend to provide independent and robust advice to the research team and the commissioner in a way that ensures the best outcomes for both the police and the community."

The panel will have its first meeting in June, with terms of reference finalised in July.