Celebrations of Te Rā o Waitangi were special to people all over New Zealand – including Police staff who attended events at Waitangi itself.
Commissioner Mike Bush was pleased with how events at and around the Treaty Grounds played out and thanked staff for their mahi over the extensive planning and at the event itself.
“Thank you to all – it’s gone brilliantly,” he said. “I would like to especially thank all of our staff at Waitangi – we appreciate the great work that’s gone into this day as it’s a big day for all of us.”
Northland District Commander Superintendent Tony Hill sees Police’s role as being to create a space where people can safely exercise freedom of speech, and enable iwi to be the great hosts they are.
“The last few years we have been really working hard to create a safe place for everyone to have their say respectfully, and when they come here, they come to have their say on things that are really important to the iwi,” he says.
“Everyone has done it respectfully, which is the way of the future where everyone can come together to be supportive when delivering their message.”
Police staff and members of the public talk about Waitangi Day and what it means to them in videos released through social media.
Far North Area Commander Inspector Riki Whiu says: “I hope that as an organisation we have achieved our purpose and assist and help our local tangata whenua – the sacred house of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kawa and Ngāti Rāhiri – to spread and demonstrate manaakitanga and aroha to you all. I hope we’ve kept you safe.”
One officer deployed to Waitangi from Police National Headquarters in Wellington was Senior Sergeant Renee Perkins, Justice Sector Liaison. She noticed the sense of unity, which has made her want to bring her whānau to Waitangi in future.
Lastly, one of our newest constables – Constable Tepuhi Rudolph from Northland, who is less than a year out of college, shared his message in Te Reo… “Waitangi Day means to me…the coming together of two iwi, our Māori iwi and Pākehā iwi, and remembering the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.”