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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 17. July 18th, 1973



The New Zealand police force numbers 3,302 and of these 4.2% are Maoris (diagram 1). Moreover, a detailed analysis of the police force shows quite clearly that of the few Maoris within this system the majority are in the position of least power (diagram 3).

Two factors probably account for the overall low numbers of Maoris. First, there may not be many applicants for jobs with the force. Apart from any other reason for this, recruitment brochures such as "Your guide to a career in the modern Police" and "Police Cadet — Your Career" are written to appeal to a pakeha value system. They lack anything of special relevance to Maoris or Polynesians and while the glossy photographs included in the former show about 71 police recruits or officers, only one could be considered non-pakeha. Second, educational and other barriers eliminate almost all potential Maori applicants. Thus, although three years secondary education is the minimum allowed for police cadets and police recruits, about 70% in fact have either school certificate or University Entrance and these qualifications are preferred, as the recruitment brochures stress. Both police cadets and police recruits must sit a pre-entry test which is at about school certificate level. If they pass that, they must sit an Otis 'A' intelligence test. As 85% of all Maoris leave school without any qualifications at all, many of them particularly poor at English, and as the I.Q. test is entirely pakeha-oriented as well as being set in the English language, it is hardly surprising that so few Maoris and other Polynesians are in the police force.

Diagram 3. A power analysis of Maori participation in the New Zealand Police Force.5

Diagram 3. A power analysis of Maori participation in the New Zealand Police Force.5

Photo of Maori men being walking with police in the background

Promotion within the force also is based on standards set by pakeha administrators and is decided upon by Pakeha senior officers.

Information concerning Maori representation on p.d. committees elsewhere in New Zealand is given in Table 1. The situation in the Auckland area is clearly not exceptional — 'community' participation in the administration of periodic detention means in practice pakeha-community participation. The Maori people of Otahuhu, Papakura, Christchurch and of the other cities cannot be blamed for this situation. Instead the responsibility is again entirely that of the Department of Justice and, particularly, the Minister of Justice. Institutional white racism, the domination by pakehas of positions of decision-making, could hardly be more plainly demonstrated.

It will no doubt be objected that here, as with the appointment of J.P.'s, the exclusion of Maoris is neither deliberate nor wilfully malevolent. In the present context, this is immaterial. The fact is that the Maori people are effectively excluded, regardless of how that came about.