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Multicultural New Zealand (MNZ) and its whānau of Regional Multicultural Councils from around the motu, fully support the leadership of New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster and the direction taken with the protesters.  

National President, Pancha Narayanan said that “one in five New Zealanders is born overseas.  Police Commissioner Andrew Coster’s appointment reflects the changing demographics and the shift towards Te Tiriti-based Aotearoa / New Zealand.  Calls for his resignation in our humble view comes from those who belong to possibly an old-school view of policing in NZ. Lessons learnt from this experience of careful restraint by police must form the foundations of future policing.”

Mr. Narayanan added that “Andrew Coster is the first police commissioner who has demonstrated through the operations of NZ Police an in-depth appreciation of Te Tiriti and how it is central to community policing. The level of durable trust that Commissioner Coster has built with communities over a short period is unprecedented, significant and admirable.”

“To the best of our knowledge no other Commissioner has had to operate under such unprecedented and rapidly changing environment with the COVID-19 restrictions and impact on community groups. Any assessment of the appropriateness of police action therefore must take this into consideration.  MNZ expects that the views of the multicultural communities spoken in many languages that make up NZ must be taken serious note of,” Mr. Narayanan added.

The occupation of the parliamentary grounds is unlawful.  The desecration of the grounds and surrounding environment is an insult to Mana whenua. MNZ fully endorses the careful restraint that NZ Police are currently exercising to de-escalate tensions.  It is our appeal that it is vital under the current circumstances to restrain ourselves from commenting on the performance of the police and to get behind them to contain the situation – to free the parliamentary premises from occupation and to see all the protesters leave safely in peace.

As a Te Tiriti-based multicultural organisation, with a reach to nearly 750,000 New Zealanders. MNZ expresses full confidence in NZ Police Commissioner Andy Coster and in his team.

Pancha Narayanan, President MNZ

New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster

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