Assistant Commissioner Tusha Penny
Tusha Penny joined the New Zealand Police in 1992, Assistant Commissioner Tusha Penny has worked in provincial and metropolitan areas. A significant part of her career has been spent in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), including lead roles in several high-profile homicides. She worked as a mentor in Tonga, helping establish family violence units, and was part of the New Zealand Police contingent that assisted the response to the Tongan riots in 2006.
Tusha has helped lead significant changes in Police in respect of child protection and sexual violence. She was pivotal in identifying and bringing attention to the systemic failure of Police to address child abuse investigations in the Wairarapa. She led the establishment of Koru House, a multi-agency centre in Wellington which was significant in addressing many issues arising from Operation Hope, the long-term investigation of historic child abuse files. In 2011 Tusha became Police's first National Manager Child Protection and Sexual Violence, and spearheaded a change management programme to accelerate the response to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct.
From 2014 Tusha was National Manager Prevention, based at Police National Headquarters, leading a major change programme in the family and sexual violence area. This gave her responsibility for initiatives relating to family harm, victims and vulnerable whanau nationwide.
In November 2016 she was selected as Waitematā District Commander - the first Māori woman to take command of a Police District and a powerful advocate for enabling her management team and staff to lead with passion, heart and drive both in their core roles and in leading Our Business.
She was a Finalist in the 2016 Westpac Women of Influence Awards – an achievement not only because of the awards' status, but also because she was nominated by female Inspectors within her Senior Leadership Team.
In November 2018 Tusha was appointed Assistant Commissioner Response and Operations, with portfolios including Pike River Re-Entry, Prosecutions and Firearms.
Tusha's Iwi is Ngāti Porou. She is married with two teenage children.