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Kia ora pirihimana

The specially-marked police car that appears in this region from time to time turned up at Kaiti School yesterday as part of Maori Language Week . . . “and the children loved it", said school community constable Carolyn Hodgkinson.

“A key for police is to build relationships with the Maori community and the car markings (pirihimana is Maori for police) demonstrate the respect police have for the Maori culture and te reo.”

Police want to encourage people to learn Maori “and to welcome the language into our lives".

Some of the students from the school checked out the vehicle.

Back (from left) are Braedyn Smith, Lejay Paul, Te Kohatea Beach and deputy principal Mandy Owen. Front are Haromi Pohatu-Keelan, Illyria Groube-Hilton, Tamarangi Moeau, Atareta Ruru, Manasseh Wray, Te Kahu Sergent and Aiokura Beach. In the driver’s side of the car is Prynce Viliamu while standing with Constable Hodgkinson are Lylah-Jae Matenga and Kyla Takarua. Picture by Paul Rickard