4 Mar 2013

Attitude change on biculturalism needed - army officer

6:47 pm on 4 March 2013

The Defence Force's new Maori cultural advisor says he will focus on changing peoples' attitudes towards bi-culturalism in the force.

Warrant Officer Tamaterangi Andrew, of Tuhoe, was welcomed to the role at a powhiri in Wellington on Monday.

The Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says the Maori culture is what sets New Zealand apart from other countries, and it's important that it is looked after.

Tama Andrew says the Defence Force has come a long way in its acceptance of biculturalism but there are still some people that are unconvinced.

He says it's important to change those attitudes so the force can be more united.

Tama Andrew has been with the army for 28 years and during that time served in Sinai, East Timor and Afghanistan.