4 Oct 2013

Police officer to be based at Ngati Porou HQ in Gisborne

8:45 am on 4 October 2013

A police officer in Gisborne is being based in the Ngati Porou iwi headquarters instead of the police station, to work more closely with the tribe in an effort to drive down crime.

Constable Whiti Timutimu has been based in the runanga since January after securing an internship there.

The general manager of Maori services for police, Superintendent Wally Haumaha, says it's the first time a position like this has been created.

He says the iwi wants to take a responsible approach to reduce crime, but it needed a police officer there to better understand crime issues and the police psyche.

Mr Haumaha says the police are applying a problem solving approach to crime prevention by working co-operatively, and he's calling it a champion move.

He says people found it difficult to understand why, but risks have to be taken, given the dire situation of Maori in the criminal justice system.