M&C Saatchi has just launched a new recruitment campaign for NZ Police.
The extraordinary story of Constable Lio Kaihau will be told as part of a new recruitment campaign unveiled today by the NZ Police, in a bid to attract more young women and men like him to the job.
The campaign highlights the better work stories of New Zealand’s police officers with the message that ‘you too can do something extraordinary’.
Constable Kaihau, a police officer in West Auckland, was called out on the job to attend to a young woman who was threatening to act on her thoughts of suicide. His role was simply to ensure she got safely to the hospital, but when the woman said she saw demons, Constable Kaihau saw an opportunity to help.
Constable Kaihau says, “When I arrived to attend to the woman, she was in a room by herself, and she was feeling very isolated. I tried to ask her name, but she just avoided me."
“I tried to strike up another conversation with her at the hospital, but she remained quiet. She was withdrawn and I knew she was in a bad place. I was persistent though. I kept asking her questions, trying to find common ground – I have this job for a reason, I joined the Police to help people,” he says.
His persistence paid off. The women explained that she saw demons crawling around her bedroom walls at night, speaking to her. Constable Kaihau drew on his background, his culture, and his values to offer whatever help he could.
“Thinking on your feet at critical moments is crucial to good policing,” he says. “I recognised that we had a shared faith, and used this to help her through this traumatic period. She asked me to pray for her, and I did. We prayed together.”
The woman said later of the incident, “Police officers are often known for locking people up, but it was Lio who unchained me from the horrible dark place.”
Constable Kaihau’s extraordinary story is now depicted in street art created by renowned New Zealand artist Otis Frizzell. It is located at the Watford Street carpark, Otara Mall, with full support of Auckland Council.