We need more Pacific police
Fijian Language Week came to a close with a special event in Mangere Centre Park, held on Saturday 14 October, which commemorated 47 years of Fijian independence.
NZ Fijian Police officers banded together to use the language week to reach out to community in a bid to recruit more Pacific officers.
Senior Sergeant Steven Smith says the number of Fijian police officers is slowly on the rise but currently, there are not enough.
“I’ve been with the NZ Police for about 16 years and when I started there were a handful of us (Fijians) in the Police force. Now our numbers are slowly rising but we need more.”
“Events like this help us to better connect with our community and promote the work we do for youth and families.”
“This is the third year that the Police have been involved in celebrating Fijian Language Week and it’s an important event for us.”
Detective David Sanday, with years of experience like Senior Sergeant Smith, says there are not enough Pacific cops.
“Pacific policing numbers are slowly increasing. Although there are many more today than there were when I signed-up fifteen years ago, we are still on the lookout for more of our Pacific people to serve in the Police force.”
“Pacific events are important, and an opportunity for us to take to promote NZ Police as a career, and as a great workplace to serve our people.”
Both said the language week is important to them, to be part of the whole celebration with their families, and recognise their Fijian identity in the workplace.
“A key component for us is our services, to ensure that our families and community work with us in a coordinated way. This requires a strong collaborative approach while also applying a strong sense of community connectedness to our work,” says Smith”
The Police closed the Fijian Language Week celebrations, which brought together many other agencies like the Department of Corrections, who also use Pacific events to reach out to the community to promote their workplace as a choice of career.
The final day of the language week, ‘Fiji Day’, was sponsored by the Ministry and supported by the NZ Police, Department of Corrections, Domo e Viti o Aotearoa, Managere Centre Park, Voqa Kei Viti, Radio Tarana and Civil Defence.
More than 2000 people attended and it is hoped that the number attending will be doubled at next year’s event.