Te Pae Oranga: Effect of Formal Written Warnings in New Zealand

Dr Femi Abikanlu1

1New Zealand Police, Wellington, New Zealand


The study presents the impact of formal written warnings, a police practice introduced on 1st May 2020 as part of the response of the New Zealand Police to the pandemic, on the rate of referrals to the Te Pae Oranga (TPO) programme. The TPO programme, is a supported resolutions programme based on a Kaupapa Māori (indigenous worldview) in New Zealand. The study asks How, if at all, did the uptake of formal written warnings by frontline officers affect the rate of referrals to the TPO programme in New Zealand? In line with this primary question, a pretest-posttest comparison design was adopted to understand the impact caused by formal written warnings. Overall, the results indicate a decline in the overall referrals to the TPO programme following the introduction of formal written warnings. The insights and findings suggest that formal written warnings is only one of underlying factors that may be responsible for the observed decline in overall referrals to the TPO programme in New Zealand. Beyond the current practice of manual recording of TPO referrals, the results also indicate the need to adopt a computerized tracking mechanism to monitor and provide daily updates of TPO referrals across the country in real time. Across policing practices, an IT-supported tracking system has been widely proven as an effective approach for monitoring policies and programmes, improving the quality of implementation and measuring the performance of corrective actions. The study contributes to the scholarship of Policing analysis and operational performance framework of New Zealand Police.


Femi Abikanlu is an early career researcher and currently affiliated with the Evidence-Based Policing Centre of the New Zealand Police. Femi obtained a Ph.D. in Media and Communication, focusing on a comparative assessment of the Global Digital Migration Programme in New Zealand and the Sub-Saharan Africa. His research interests focus on Social Media and Police practices; policy and governance of the converged communication space; big data analytics; and effect of digital convergence on regulatory policies and governance. Currently, Femi holds a Research and Evaluation Advisory position for a funded research project with the Evidence-Based Policing Centre of the New Zealand Police (National Headquarter), Wellington.