Queen’s Birth­day hon­our for Karen

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - MIKE MATHER

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.

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