Three long-serving members of Police have received acknowledgement in the New Year Honours announced today (31 December).
Deputy Commissioner Glenn Dunbier is made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to New Zealand Police and the community.
Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe, of Northland District, is made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Police and Search and Rescue.
Both were nominated for honours by Police.
A further community nomination sees the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) awarded to Royal New Zealand Police College receptionist Tia Kekena for services to Cook Islands and Pacific communities.
Commissioner Andrew Coster welcomed the honours, which he says are highly deserved.
“These awards underline the diversity of talent and the diversity of roles we have in Police,” he says.
“Glenn and Cliff have both served our communities magnificently over many decades and I would like to add my own thanks for all their mahi.
“Tia has given years of service to the community and at the police college, where she is a helpful and welcoming face and will be instantly recognisable to so many people who have visited or worked there over the years.
“I congratulate Glenn, Cliff and Tia on this well-deserved acknowledgement and I know all their colleagues will be as proud as I am to see them honoured by the nation they have served so well.”
Both Glenn and Cliff say the award is a great honour and hugely humbling.
Glenn, who joined Police in 1985, recently announced his intention to retire in 2023.
“I have to pinch myself sometimes, having left James Cook High School, Manurewa, at 16 and then going on to enjoy such a meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling career,” he says.
“I’ve met royalty, presidents and significant political figures and yet some of the most remarkable people I’ve met have been the staff we employ.
“We have great people, committed to making New Zealand a safer place, and I owe any success I’ve enjoyed to the people I’ve worked with.”
Cliff has been involved in Search and Rescue in Northland District for 26 years, most of that time as OC Police SAR.
“It’s great to have your work recognised but I think this honour is as much for the teams I’ve worked with over the years, inside and outside Police,” he says.
“In SAR everything depends on teamwork and the relationships we have with LandSAR and many other organisations. It’s a privilege to work with these groups, especially the volunteers who give so much.”
Tia joined Police 37 years ago. Her award cites her leadership of the Cook Island community and her part in helping found Pacific Island churches in Wellington and Porirua. “The award is really for the whole community,” she says.
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)
Deputy Commissioner Glenn Dunbier
For services to New Zealand Police and the community
Deputy Commissioner Dunbier has served 37 years with New Zealand Police.
He joined Police in 1985, serving as a frontline Constable and Detective in Counties Manukau, before becoming Sergeant in Auckland City. He then specialised in covert policing for more than a decade, before transferring to the Waikato Police District in 1996.
He became Area Commander of Eastern Bay of Plenty in 2006 and then District Commander of Bay of Plenty in 2010, implementing the Policing Excellence change programme and introducing the Prevention First operating model in the area, resulting in the reduction of crime and an increase in workplace engagement.
He became Deputy Commissioner Resource Management in 2014, successfully leading the implementation and embedding of the 47 recommendations for Police from the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct.
Following a three-year secondment to the Australian Department of Defence, he became Deputy Commissioner Operations in early 2020, with responsibility for more than 10,000 New Zealand Police staff.
Deputy Commissioner Dunbier led the Police response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included the policing of lockdown restrictions, staffing and managing the Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities across the country, and operating the alert level boundary checkpoints.
Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)
Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe
For services to New Zealand Police and Search and Rescue
Senior Sergeant Clifford Metcalfe is the Courts and Custody Manager at Whangārei Police Station and has been a member of the Northland Police Search and Rescue (SAR) Squad since 1996.
Senior Sergeant Metcalfe has been Officer in Charge of Northland Police SAR Squad for most of his involvement and developed strong relationships with partner agencies including Northern Region Coastguard, Civil Aviation Authority and Land SAR northern groups.
He has developed the Northland SAR Squad into a highly trained and motivated SAR unit ready for deployment at any time, also improving equipment standards over the years.
Particular events highlighting his leadership and dedication include the search for and recovery of a light plane that crashed in November 2005 and the rescue of children who had been swept out to sea at Paihia in 2011.
He established the emergency response structure as a member of the initial management team involved following the Pike River mine disaster. He has overseen the National SAR Selection course and regularly advises on SAR and Disaster Victim Identification matters, reviewing critical incidents and providing feedback.
He has helped organise the Blue Heelers Annual Charity Fishing Competition for 23 years, with proceeds supporting the local Hospice. The competition has grown in popularity during Senior Sergeant Metcalfe’s involvement and has raised close to $500,000 to date.
The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM)
Teurukura Tia Kekena
For services to the Cook Islands and Pacific communities
Mrs Teurukura Tia Kekena has been involved with the Cook Islands community since migrating to New Zealand in the early 1970s.
Mrs Kekena was instrumental in the establishment of the Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church in Newtown, Wellington in the 1970s, before settling in Porirua and launching the Porirua Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church.
She became the Church’s session clerk and serves as the ‘Maine Akatere Au’ or Church Leader, coordinating activities for the congregation, facilitating between the main Church body and engagement with the wider community and was the lead in the transition of the Porirua Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church to the Cook Islands Presbyterian Church.
She helped establish the Porirua Cook Islands Association, where she served as Secretary for several years, before becoming President in 2016. With the Association, Mrs Kekena helped with the establishment of the Te Akapuanga Kuki Airani Hall, which today hosts community gatherings for the Pacific communities in the Wellington region.