A Queensland policeman says with the increasing Maori population in the Australian state it is important the police have more officers on the beat who reflect their community.
Sergeant Paul Tanzer says the Queensland Police Service is a very different law enforcement agency from when he joined 30 years ago, and the south east of the state is one of the most ethnically diverse in Australia.
He says having more Maori police is important, and having officers who can deal confidently with New Zealanders helps break down the communication barriers.
Sergeant Tanzer says the Tutahi Tonu Consultative Committee, of which he is a part, is used as an example for the rest of the state on how to appropriately engage with Maori.
He says it makes sense to have a good relationship with Maori so they can exchange information.