Two probationary constables made history yesterday – the first women to join the crew of the police vessel Te Kukupa.
Vaai Basnet and Cancy Maro departed Avatiu Harbour in Rarotonga, bound for the blue ocean – it’s Police protocol that they do not reveal Te Kukupa’s destination. Both women were pretty excited and quite focused as Seaman Tehapai Marsters took them through an orientation of Te Kukupa.
Basnet and Maro, as well as police constable Ngarue Tararo, have transferred to the Maritime Division. However Tararo was not able to sail yesterday, so just the two women came onboard.
They were taking their new roles very seriously and appreciated being part of a faster track to their desired roles at sea. They will undergo basic training.
The normal procedure is that the officers are required to complete their probationary period first, and these requirements still need to be fulfilled.
However, there have been cases where the Police Commissioner Maara Tetava has authorised a more direct track to qualified crew status. The new additions to the Police Maritime team are part of the Police Commissioner’s move to fast-track crew numbers ahead of the anticipated delivery of the new Guardian Class Te Kukupa in 2022, gifted by the Australian Government.
The officers will be engaged in sea training; all three graduated in June 2019 as part of the Mama Tuki Wright Recruit Wing.