Wananga course boosts diversity
Police were out in force at Te Wananga o Aotearoa this week to celebrate the success of a training course which ensures more diversity within their ranks.
The wananga's certificate in career preparation (police) started in 2009 with the aim of preparing "ethnic minority youth" to go into the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Since then, 23 graduates have become police officers stationed around the North Island.
Two Waikato women who took the wananga course have just recently come out of police college and are working as police in Hamilton and Te Kuiti.
Ngahuia Sheedy, from Te Kuiti, and Bonnie Ridley, from Raglan, said they would recommend the course 100 per cent.
The course gave them the skills and knowledge to get into police college and prepared them physically and emotionally for what was to come.
"It helps you cope and deal with the stress, and they prepare you for the kinds of situations you will be faced with," Constable Sheedy said.
"Becoming a cop was always my dream. Working together with the community is the job I wanted to get up to every morning."
Police backed the programme to promote ethnic diversity within their ranks, and have helped with training and sharing experiences.
The wananga's chief executive Bentham Ohia said together they had helped to ensure the police service "continues to reflect the many faces that make up Aotearoa".
"The . . . graduates to date are just the beginning of a partnership that will continue to ensure Maori, Pasifika and ethnic minorities continue to be well represented among police cadets. We are immensely proud."