Albertian police visit Pasifika students

Albertian police are pictured with Pasifika Prefects and leaders, guest speakers Detective Inspector Fa’amanuia Va’aelua (back row, centre) and Detective Constable Fiao’o Fa’amausili, also Captain of the Black Ferns women’s rugby team, Headmaster Mr Patrick Drumm and Head of Pasifika Initiatives Ms Va Anisi.

A dozen Albertian police officers attended the final Pasifika Assembly of the year to encourage students plan a career, and consider policing.

The Captain of the Black Ferns women’s rugby team, Detective Constable Fiao’o Fa’amausili, also attended, with her message particularly aimed at Pasifika girls.

Detective Inspector Fa’amanuia Va’aelua, whose daughter Aleisha is in Year 9 at MAGS, has been a policeman for nearly 30 years and is now one of the most highly ranked Pasifika officers in the country. He is in charge of co-ordinating serious crime investigations in the Counties Manukau district.

“Policing has taken me through New Zealand and around the world, including to my home country of Samoa, but its biggest reward is being able to help the community, particularly the Samoan community,” said Detective Inspector Va’aelua, adding that being fluent in a Pasifika language was a significant advantage. “The new Government has undertaken to recruit 1000 extra officers, and we are targetting Pasifika and ethnic recruits because Auckland is such a culturally diverse city.”

Detective Inspector Va’aelua, who was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for going above and beyond his duties to help the community, was backed by 12 Albertian police who had gathered from stations all over Auckland.

“I encourage you to consider policing as a career, but whatever you do, give it heaps.”

Detective Constable Fa’amausili, who led their Black Ferns to their fourth World Cup victory in August, said women and Pasifika people were still under-represented in the police, but that should not hold back Pasifika girls from considering the police as a career.

“You can do whatever you want to do, and you can make a difference. Keep your Pasifika identity, be proud of who we are, and it will also help you in your work.”

Whatever career paths the students chose to follow, Detective Constable Fa’amausili advised them to make a plan and follow through. “There will be struggles and setbacks, but remember, you never lose. You only learn, or win.”