Guest speaker: Tusha Penny, District Commander Waitematā, NZ Police
Since joining the New Zealand Police in 1992, Superintendent Tusha Penny has worked in both provincial and metropolitan areas. Much of her career has been spent in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) investigating serious crimes including lead roles in several high profile homicides. She has also worked as a mentor in Tonga assisting to establish family violence units and was part of the New Zealand Police contingent that assisted with the Tongan riots in 2006.
Tusha has been pivotal in the change management Police have gone through over recent years in respect of child protection and sexual violence. She was critical in identifying and bringing attention to the systemic failure of Police to address child abuse investigations in the Wairarapa. She led the implementation of a multi-agency centre in Wellington known as “Koru House” which was significant in addressing a lot of the issues found in Operation Hope (the long term investigation of historic child abuse files). Tusha was the first officer to take on the role of National Manager — Child Protection and Sexual Violence in 2011 where she spearheaded a national change management programme to accelerate the Police response to the Commission of Inquiry.
From 2014 Tusha held the role of National Manager: Prevention based at Police National Headquarters in Wellington, working on a major change programme within the Family and Sexual Violence area. This gave her responsibility for family harm, victims and vulnerable whanau initiatives across the country.
In November 2016 Tusha she was selected to become the District Commander of Waitemata, based in Auckland. Her Iwi is Ngati Porou and is the first Maori female District Commander in New Zealand Police. She is married with two teenaged children.