Waikato Times
January 16, 2004

Ex-Waikato top cop gets big Auckland welcome
by Jon Stokes

At 1.8m and weighing around 130kg Clint Rickards is a man you want on your side rather than against you -- and fortunately for society that's been his choice.

About 200 people attended the official ceremony to welcome Auckland's newly appointed top cop at a ceremony at Auckland's Orakei marae yesterday.

Mr Rickards, of Ngati Hikairo descent, from Kawhia, takes on the role of Auckland district commander in addition to his position as assistant police commissioner, a role he took on following a term as Waikato's top cop.

He was welcomed into his role at a lively hui hosted by Ngati Whatua, and attended by a large contingent of Tainui, leaders of the Pacific Island and Asian community and civic leaders including Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis, Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey and representatives from Auckland City Council.

Mr Rickards will retain his position as assistant police commissioner while adding his new position.

He said he felt hamstrung by the "very administrative role" of assistant commissioner and wanted to get more involved.

"In HQ you lose touch with what is happening in the streets."

He said there would be changes in Auckland policing.

"I will sit back, take a deep breath and see what needs looking at and what we do well."

Tainui elder Tui Adams said his appointment was a proud day for Maori and for Mr Rickards' family.

Mr Rickards joined the police in 1982 at 18. He has a masters degree in public policy from Sydney's Charles Stuart University and a business degree in human resources.

He was appointed Gisborne superintendent and district commander in 1997 and promoted to superintendent and district commander for the Waikato district in 1999.