2 Aug 2016

NZ police needs more Pacific women

1:08 pm on 2 August 2016

New Zealand Police is calling for more Pacific women to join up.

01082016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Police Parade celebrating 75 years of women being in the police force.

A Police parade celebrating 75 years of women being in the police force was held in Wellington, New Zealand and now the police want more Pacific women to join their ranks. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Māori and Pacific Islanders make up nearly 70 percent of the country's prison population and more than half the number of offenders.

They also make up a similarly disproportionate number of victims in the justice system.

Tania Van Ooyen, who is one of only four Pacific female senior sergeants in the country, said there aren't enough Pacific women to meet the demand when working in the community.

"It's disproportionate to what we need in representing our communities. We need more Pacific women. The commissioner is very supportive and encouraging. He wants to see a lot more Pacific island women going through to reflect the community," she said.

Currently only 20 percent of New Zealand police officers are women.

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