A former officer says police need to launch a Maori-only recruitment campaign.
Steve Elers, of Ngati Kauwhata and a scholar at AUT, said the service needed to attract more tangata whenua following new figures showing just 11.2 percent of officers are Maori.
Although the proportion of Maori in police had risen to its highest level in eight years, it was still far short of reflecting the national Maori population of almost 15 percent.
Mr Elers said a custom-made campaign about Maori would appeal to Maori.
The former Western Australia officer said there needed to be a specific social media campaign showing Maori faces and Maori police.
Mr Elers said Maori could then identify with them more when they see a Maori man or woman in uniform with tattoos on their arms.