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'Proud day' as 2 police officers honoured

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/06/2017

Two police officers with strong backgrounds in Maori, ethnic services, prevention and community partnership roles are recipients of Royal Honours announced Monday in the Queen's Birthday list.

They are Assistant Commissioner Wally Haumaha, the Deputy Chief Executive: Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services who becomes an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) and Inspector Karen Henrikson, Waikato Police District Operations Support Manager who becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

"It's a special day for Wally and Karen, and a very proud day for New Zealand Police," Commissioner Mike Bush said.

"These honours reflect the contribution and service both officers have made and continue to make to New Zealand Police and the wider public."

Assistant Commissioner Haumaha's award is for services to Police and Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities.

He's been at the forefront of leading and building New Zealand Police cross-cultural capacity since 1996. His work in facilitating partnerships in New Zealand's ethnically diverse communities is recognised here and overseas.

A key contributor to the partnership launch of 'Turning of the Tide', a ground-breaking Whanau Ora crime and crash prevention strategy to reduce the incarceration rates of Maori, Assistant Commissioner Haumaha also established the first MOU between Police and 14 major Iwi groups in the Bay of Plenty District.

"I'm overwhelmed to receive this honour," Assistant Commissioner Haumaha said. "This is significant recognition of the work police have done and continue to undertake in partnership with Maori, Pacific and other ethnic peoples.

"This high award is unexpected. It's a tribute to all the people I've worked with along the way.''

Inspector Henrikson's award is for services to Police and the community.

She's held a range of roles and was in 2008 the first woman to be promoted to Inspector rank in the Waikato District.

She's a leading advocate for women in police at local, national and international level, and was actively involved with the recent 75th anniversary of women in police celebrations.

In 2012 she was named 'Most Outstanding Female Leader' in the Australasian Excellence in Policing Awards.

A strong believer in the value of prevention and community partnerships, Inspector Henrikson was instrumental in setting up Hamilton's Safety Comes First group, an initiative with the business community, council and health partners to improve public safety, particularly around alcohol consumption in the CBD.

"This recognition was a complete and utter surprise," Inspector Henrikson said. "My achievements in Police have heavily relied on the support of my colleagues, partner agencies and the business community. Their efforts help make a positive difference in the community.

"I love my job and the people I work with, but mostly I love seeing the great results true collaboration can achieve through making a positive change to someone's life or making our community safer."

Inspector Henrikson is a former Silver Fern netballer and former Waikato netball coach.

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