26 Oct 2012

Maori cloaks gifted to Queensland police

8:24 am on 26 October 2012

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) says the gifting of two traditional Maori cloaks at a ceremony this weekend is hugely significant, and demonstrates the positive relations with the local Maori community.

Master weaver Dolly Rewharewha of Waikato-Tainui descent was employed to produce two korowai; one for new Commissioner of Queensland Police Ian Stewart and the other to be worn by a Maori police officer on ceremonial occasions.

The officer in charge of the Cross-Cultural Liaison Unit for the Logan District, Sergeant Paul Tanzer, says the korowai symbolize the strong bond between Maori and the police.

He says they will be a very visual representation of that commitment to the community, and of community regard for the QPS.

Sergeant Tanzer says this is the first event of its kind that has occurred in his 30 years as a Queensland police officer, and signals some of the changes in the state's police force.

The ceremony will be attended by the new commissioner, departing commissioner Bob Atkinson, and Superintendent Wallace Haumaha, general manager of the New Zealand police Maori and Ethnic Services.

Local Maori who helped raise funds for the making of the korowai will also attend the ceremony.

The Aboriginal community will play a part, and will clear the way for the presentation to take place on Saturday morning in Beenleigh near Brisbane.