This is a really good initiative that should be widened.
"Officers in the Central Police District, which includes Palmerston North, Wanganui and New Plymouth, are trained to say a simple karakia (prayer) and sprinkle holy water at the site of any fatal incident."
"Palmerston North-based Senior Sergeant Gordon Rongonui started the practice in 2002, when he began teaching tikanga Maori lessons to 738 Central District officers."
"Rather than them calling me out all the time ... we came up with a small karakia prayer card, about five lines, one side in Maori and the other in English, that anyone can do."
What a simple practical way to help get the people doing the practice. Make it easy, is the way to go.
"All that it is, is lifting the spirits and sending the spirits back to God, to heaven."
"It's all to safeguard the dignity of the person, the dignity of the family and the dignity of all the people around them."
"Dead criminals were treated the same as victims, Mr Rongonui said."
"When you go in, you always treat the deceased with respect. They could've been mongrels when they were alive but they were also someone's husband, someone's father, someone's child."
Senior Sergeant Gordon Rongonui has trained the officers to treat these deceased people with respect and within a maoritanga framework. It doesn't matter if you believe or not, or if you were bad or not. What matters is that you have died and for that, you are accorded respect. I agree with this approach and i think it does help the spirit move on.
I also like the way this has been introduced , without big fanfare, very stealthy.
And who has gained and who has lost? Well I can't think of any losers out of this, perhaps the atheist's will complain or maybe the really severe racists, but the winners far outweigh them.
The winners are everyone in this country. Our whole country gains when maori tikanga is incorporated into society. We need more of this stealthy approach, as well as the big protests. We need more maoritanga incorporated into our society. Well done Gordon Rongomai.