National | Police

New Māori constable joins Wellington’s community beat team

Reporter: Tini Molyneux, Te Ao Mārama

Wellingtonians can expect to see some fresh faces on the field as Police deploy 10 new graduates onto the streets.

Newly titled Constable Hine-Moana Foster (Ngati Porou, Tainui) called it a privilege to be part of the new beat team.

The team is part of the 500 officers planned to help police to reduce crime and improve public safety by the end of 2025, as promised by Associate Police Minister Casey Costello.

Foster is the only Māori graduate from wing 375 deployed to the Wellington community beat team.

“As the only Māori wāhine in my wing it was an honour and a privilege but also it comes with its trials because there’s always times where you feel like you’re by yourself or on the outskirts but that’s where our mana [is]”

She got into the mahi due to her love for the community.

“Many reasons, I love people, I love community, I wanted to have a job that was purposeful, I wanted to just interact and engage with people on different levels,” she said.

Foster will be bringing a lot to Te Whanganui a Tara community.

“I bring character, I bring my tīpuna before me, I bring the people ahead of me, I bring my whānau, my values and pure excitement to be with and amongst our community.”

Photo: Kylie McConnell / Te Ao Māori News

Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster were at the ceremony.

“Really great to see a bunch of keen staff who’ve joined us getting out there,” Cosger said. “They’ll be very visible, engaging with the public, engaging with retailers.

“We know that the physical presence of police on our streets and in our town centre really contributes to the feelings of safety, so awesome to be able to welcome [the constables] today,” he said.

He said the 10 graduates would be in this team until they could be “backfilled with other staff” but it was recommended they stay for 12 months.

Mitchell said he started on the beat when he first became an officer.

“It’s a great way to keep fit and it’s a great way to learn the policing trade and the skills to be a good police officer.”

The constables are the first from their wings to be hitting the streets. They are being deployed to “crime hotspots”.