Queen’s Birthday honour for Karen
A top sportswoman who became a top police officer has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
A 1980s Silver Fern, Matamataborn Inspector Karen Henrikson is now the operations support manager for the Waikato District. It’s a role with no small amount of responsibility, including overseeing the police district’s search-and-rescue and dog section units.
A policewoman for more than 30 years - and, in 2008, the first woman to be promoted to the rank of inspector - Henrikson has held many roles in that time, many of which have assisted in promoting the role of women in the police force.
Her packed resume includes helping set up the first Women’s Advisory Network for the Waikato, and she was involved in the recent 75th anniversary commemorations of women in the police service.
In 2012 she was named the ‘‘Most Outstanding Female Leader’’ in the Australasian Excellence in Policing Awards, held in Canberra.
Henrikson also helped establish the Safety Comes First group in central Hamilton, which she now chairs. Through this initiative she has helped improve the
‘‘Her packed resume includes helping set up the first Women's Advisory Network for the Waikato.’’
safety of people in the city’s central business district at night.
She helped to establish the Hamilton Interagency Youth Action group, which provides support to at-risk families connected with criminal offending and she was also instrumental in establishing and maintaining strong relationships with Waikato councils and Maori focus forums.
Her honour was bestowed in recognition of her services to the police and the community, but Matamata-born Henrikson also has sporting credentials that mirror her good work with the force.
The former Silver Fern and Waikato representative coached the Waikato provincial netball team, which won the national championship in 2006. During her time as assistant coach of the Waikato NPC team, they won the title in 1999 and 2000 and came second in 2001.