Best photo winner announced for 2019 Police Dog Trust

Press Release – New Zealand Police

“Best photo winner announced for 2019 Police Dog Trust Calendar”

A vibrant image of Dunedin patrol dog Paikea and handler Constable Regan Mauheni at Otakou Marae has won this year’s best photograph competition in the 2019 Police Dog Trust Calendar.

Constable Seaton McGuigan, a relieving forensic photographer in Dunedin, took the winning image during a visit to the Marae on Otago’s Peninsula.

Inspector Todd Southall, National Coordinator: Police Dogs, and Chair of the Police Dog Charitable Trust, says forensic photographers from Auckland to Dunedin entered the competition, and the standard was very high.

“Police photographers are talented people and their skills help us enormously in what they do every day in their core forensic duties. Their creative flair shines in their support for dog section and the calendars.”

Constable McGuigan says it’s the first time he’s entered the photo competition, and he’s stoked to win.

“The setting and the colours resonated as Regan and Paikea had been working on several initiatives in the lead up to Maori Language Week. The Marae is a beautiful place to visit and I thank them for having us.”

With a degree in design studies behind him, Constable McGuigan has been with police for 11 years, including the last three as a relieving forensic photographer.

The winning photo stars in the month of February for the 2019 calendar, and also as one two images in a pullout poster.

Constable McGuigan was presented with a trophy and a large copy of his photo at today’s patrol dog graduation at the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre.

It was extra special as Constable Mauheni and Paikea were among the graduating handlers. Today marked the officer’s return to full operational dog section duties after he was badly injured two years ago during an Armed Offenders Squad operation in Kawerau, Bay of Plenty.

After undergoing surgery in Waikato and early rehabilitation in Rotorua, Constable Mauheni transferred south to Dunedin to assist his recovery. He has raised Paikea as a foster pup from eight weeks old with the goal of graduating as operational together. Paikea’s journey from pup to patrol dog has featured in an Instagram account.

Constable Mauheni joined police ten years ago and Paikea is his third dog.

He says there’s a strong connection of Paikea and his whakapapa to Otakou.

“In my mind Paikea was the start of my journey back into the New Zealand Police Dog Section.

I wanted a loyal name to remind me of how special our bond would be and how proud I am to be a member of this section.”

Paikea has a deep meaning to both Iwi in Constable Mauheni’s whanau.

“Some say Paikea is the father of Tahu Potiki who is the creator of Ngai Tahu, my mother’s Iwi, and Porourangi who is the creator of Ngati Porou, my father’s Iwi.

There is also a connection through the carvings adorning Tamatea – the whare Tupuna at Otakou Marae, seen in the background of Constable McGuigan’s image.

When the whare was built back in the 1940s, carvings were needed. As it was wartime and there were no carvers in the district, mouldings of the whare on display at the Otago Museum were taken. This was with the agreement of whanaunga from Hick’s Bay (Ngati Porou), where the whare came from.

“Paikea is most definitely Ngati Porou but here in Otakou is the next best place to call home for him while he serves New Zealand Police in the Southern District.

“Seaton’s image to me represents loyalty, bond, diversity and our commitment to Maori.”

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