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New Zealand

Police leader honored in first King’s Birthday Honors

Three senior members of the police force were honored today for their service to New Zealand Police and the community.

Bruce Russell, a former sergeant and now a non-police investigator for the Bay of Plenty, has been appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Sergeant Wally Kopae, from the Southern District, was elected a member of the New Zealand Medal of Merit (MNZM).

Both were nominated for prestigious awards by the police.

After being nominated by the community, Police National Headquarters Superintendent Rakesh Naidu was elected a member of the New Zealand Medal of Merit (MNZM) for his services to New Zealand police and ethnic communities.

The full text is quoted below.

Bruce Ronald Russell, Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)
For services to the New Zealand Police and the local community

Tauranga resident Bruce Russell joined the New Zealand Police in the early 1970s and spent 47 years in the Criminal Investigation Department, investigating all types of criminal offenses.

In 1988, Russell established Waikato’s first Child Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse Investigation Unit in Hamilton and developed strong relationships with partner agencies. He established New Zealand’s first Waikato-based Criminal Proceeds Unit under the Criminal Proceeds Act 1992, led innovative investigative methodologies and developed training for police in Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. provided.

Since 2009, he has been an unsworn Specialist Investigator and is currently with the Tauranga-based Asset Recovery Unit (ARU). He is a “go-to” leader in serious and organized financial crime problems in the Waikato Police District and Bay of Plenty Police District, having successfully conducted numerous operations to track criminal proceeds.

Since 2009, he has been responsible for the seizure of property under the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery) Act 2009 totaling over $48 million. From 2002 to 2006 he participated in joint Federal Secretariat and United Nations initiatives, serving throughout the Pacific Islands, and later at the United Nations in capacity building for financial crime investigations, criminal proceeds and anti-money laundering. I was involved in Russell has developed and delivered training in developing countries around the world.

Bruce said he was honored to receive the award, but wondered whether he should accept it for “just doing my job”.

“It’s not about me,” he says. “For me, all the people I’ve worked with have made all of this possible.

“Over the years, I’ve had some great bosses who have given me the freedom to follow my instincts. I will forever be grateful to them, they know who they are.”

Member of the New Zealand Medal of Merit (MNZM)
Sergeant Walter Wallace (Wally) Kopae (Gerty Wakawe, Gertie Awa, Gertie Pukeko, Gai Te Langi, Te Whanau Apanui)
For services to the New Zealand Police and the local community

Sergeant Wally Kopae (Gerty Wakaue, Gertie Awa, Gertie Pukeko, Gai Te Langi, Te Whanau Apanui) joined the New Zealand Police in 1987 and has been based in Southland since 1989. Served in the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) for over 30 years.

In addition to serving as an advisor to AOS leaders, Sergeant Kopae has been involved in training and breeding police dogs across the country. He is the supervisor of the Invercargill/Southland Police Canine Division. He is one of his six certifiers to evaluate dogs and handlers deployed across the country, is a member of the New Zealand Police Canine Department’s National Working Group, and is a driving force behind policy and training efforts. is being formulated.

He has trained dogs and handlers in specialties such as search and rescue and non-police noxious weed detection. From 2002 he assisted the Solomon Islands Police until 2003, and in 2005 he served as a trainer for the Afghan Police in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan. Currently, while deployed to Fiji, he is developing the abilities of a police patrol dog.

He is highly regarded for practicing the Te Ao Maori mindset in policing, building relationships and connections with the Whanaungatanga, and using the Te Reo Maori to defuse the situation. Rated.

Sergeant Kopae has been cycling in the Southland region for 15 years as a competitor, running Southland Road Races, coaching police corporate pursuit teams, and traffic safety on the Westpac Chopper Appeal ride from Queenstown to Invercargill. have provided support.

He said he was humbled by the royal recognition.

“It’s clear that a lot of people came together to make this nomination. I accept this nomination on behalf of the dog department, the police and my family,” he said.

“I know there are many people in our organization who are equally deserving, maybe even more deserving, but I can name them at random, but this award deserves it. I appreciate it very much.

“It’s my job and I love doing it.”

Member of the New Zealand Medal of Merit (MNZM)
Superintendent Rakesh Sharanand Naidu
For services to New Zealand police and ethnic communities

Superintendent Rakesh Naidoo has been with the New Zealand Police for 21 years and has strengthened the police’s relationship with its diverse community.

In 2014, Superintendent Naidu published data on family harm that highlighted the current state of abuse in New Zealand. One in three women and one in six boys are abused, and four of the 14 women killed in 2013 were of Indian descent.

He helped and assisted in founding ‘Gandhi Nivas’, an organization that supports clients with early intervention programs seeking help.

He worked with Massey University to set up an advisory board to inform clients of their need for a comprehensive facility. He now has three homes within the Tamaki Makaulau area that provide comprehensive support to customers who have received police safety orders.

He advocated establishing additional services in other areas to help families in harm’s way. Within the police force, he helped formulate the organization’s first five-year ethnic strategy and serves on several advisory boards and commissions to support diverse communities.

Superintendent Naidu has been the Ethnic Partnerships Manager within New Zealand Police since 2021, leading efforts such as his involvement with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terrorist attacks.

“The strength of New Zealand Police is determined by our partnerships with our communities. With your help, we’ve built trust and confidence and taken care of our community.To receive this generous recognition, I stand shoulder to shoulder with the past. I am still a colleague with these communities.”

Commissioner Andrew Koster congratulated all the winners.

“These talented police officers are the best in the field of investigation, operations and community policing,” he said.

“While they are humble about their accomplishments, they have all contributed tremendously, making a real difference to New Zealanders and inspiring their colleagues to perform at their best.

“It’s great to see them officially recognized at the highest level. I know all their colleagues will join me in congratulating them on this well-deserved recognition. We can all be very proud of their achievements.”


Published by Police Media Center

https://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/police-leaders-recognised-first-king%E2%80%99s-birthday-honours Police leader honored in first King’s Birthday Honors

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