She has four children aged five to 12. But that hasn’t stopped Hamilton’s Akesa Taufa achieving her goal of becoming a police officer, with support from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA) along the way.
The 32-year-old recently graduated from The Royal New Zealand Police College.
After initially failing the academic testing in 2017, Akesa enrolled in the police preparation programme at TWoA, which helps people get entry into the police and other similar occupations.
“I really wanted to get into police college and I thought the programme would be my best chance at getting through,” says Akesa who completed the programme at the end of 2018.
The support from her fellow classmates and kaiako (teacher) Morgan Kutia, played a crucial part in her getting across the line and gaining entry to the college.
“I always had constant support, I even had support after I finished the course. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa did help create that support and motivation for me to carry on, otherwise I don’t think I would have made it.”
Before enrolling at TWoA, Akesa had her hands full as a stay at home mum raising her four children.
Her passion for working in the community and helping the vulnerable were a key driving force for her decision to have a go at her dream of becoming a police officer.
“I look forward to getting out, working in the street and being in the community,” says Akesa who has been posted to work in Hamilton where she lives with her family.
The young mother hopes to see more people from all walks of life join the police to do good in their communities.
“There definitely needs to be a range of people in the police, it doesn’t always hurt if someone is quietly spoken. It’s not about going in with the big loud voice to sort things out, it’s about listening to people and I think that’s the most important thing I’ve learnt so far.”