Wally Haumaha

Wallace Haumaha

ONZM, QSM (Te Arawa, Tainui, Mataatua)

Director Leadership and Innovation

Wallace (Wally) Haumaha joined OSACO Group as Director Leadership and Innovation in March 2024 after retiring from a stellar 40-year career with New Zealand Police, and his most recent role as Deputy Police Commissioner.

Wally has always had a passion to make a difference in outcomes for Māori, ‘walking the talk’ when it comes to demonstrating the core values of the New Zealand Police’s commitment to Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

During his long stewardship of Police’s Cultural Unit of Māori, Pacific & Ethnic Services, Wally proved to be an outstanding and credible leader recognised by international policing jurisdictions. He has been instrumental in leading a most dynamic cultural shift in policing over years of service to respond to Aotearoa New Zealand’s increasingly ethnically diverse communities.

After years of hard-fought challenges, the strengthening of relationships with Iwi/Māori has been achieved through visionary leadership. His commitment to reduce the long over representation of Māori in the criminal justice system, from Police, to Courts, to Corrections, has seen one of the most innovative programs developed under his leadership to prevent reoffending and revictimization. Te Pae Oranga, has proved by far the best results to reduce demand on the criminal justice system.

Under his leadership New Zealand Police has embraced diversity, leading to a more inclusive organisation that values cultural richness and promotes gender equality.

Wally has long recognised the uniqueness of New Zealand’s diverse communities and the need to adapt and remain responsive to the ever-changing needs of New Zealand demographics, while maintaining his commitment to uphold the rule of law in this country.

His work amongst the diverse ethnic communities and multicultural councils throughout New Zealand has seen him presented with many awards for his outstanding contribution to service. Ethnic Leaders have described the relationship that he has built with communities as the gold standard for the public service.

Wally’s continued relationship building has seen some of the most outstanding results achieved during major crisis events over the last two decades. He received glowing letters of support from the Minister of Police, the States Services Commissioner and ministers of parliament for the role he played during the 2004 Foreshore & Seabed hikoi, the Ihumātao land battle, the Christchurch massacre, and the 2019 Whakaari White Island eruption.

Many of the challenges Wally has addressed in his role, including during COVID-19 and the occupation of New Zealand’s parliament, led to outcomes like minimising the impact on social cohesion, preventing harmful behaviours, and supporting disadvantaged families and communities who would easily become marginalised and over-represented in Police crime and harm statistics.

Wally has spearheaded innovative policing models that prioritise community engagement and inclusivity, as evidenced by the enduring success of national strategies like ‘The Turning of the Tide’ and its refreshed version ‘Te Huringa o Te Tai’, ‘Working Together with Ethnic Communities’, ‘O Le Taeo Fou’ and ‘The Dawn of a New Day’.

Today Wally is regarded as one of the architects of Police’s transformed relationships with iwi and other communities, after working tirelessly during his tenure as Deputy Commissioner advising and guiding agencies in both the public and private sectors on how to achieve successful outcomes working with community groups.

Wally’s work has contributed to a more capable frontline of officers who are confident in making better decisions, and a more diverse leadership cadre of Māori, Pasifika and ethnic peoples. Wally was also instrumental in the implementation of Pacific and Ethnic leadership boards to guide the Commissioner and New Zealand Police in their areas of expertise.

Wally’s energy, passion, enthusiasm and sense of humour is an inspiration to those who work alongside him.

Key skills: Leadership, engagement, strategy, innovative thinking, incisive analytical skills, passion, courage, resilience

Meet The Team