New Zealand Police
Overview
The New Zealand Police is the national police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 force of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, responsible for enforcing criminal law, enhancing public safety, maintaining order and keeping the peace throughout New Zealand. With over 11,000 staff it is the largest law enforcement agency in New Zealand, and with few exceptions has primary jurisdiction over the majority of New Zealand criminal law.

The New Zealand police also has responsibility for traffic and commercial vehicle enforcement as well as other key responsibilities including dignitary protection, firearms licensing and matters of national security.

The current Minister of Police is the Hon.
Encyclopedia
The New Zealand Police is the national police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 force of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, responsible for enforcing criminal law, enhancing public safety, maintaining order and keeping the peace throughout New Zealand. With over 11,000 staff it is the largest law enforcement agency in New Zealand, and with few exceptions has primary jurisdiction over the majority of New Zealand criminal law.

The New Zealand police also has responsibility for traffic and commercial vehicle enforcement as well as other key responsibilities including dignitary protection, firearms licensing and matters of national security.

The current Minister of Police is the Hon. Judith Collins
Judith Collins
Judith Anne Collins is a New Zealand National Party politician and a lawyer. She is a front bench Cabinet minister with the portfolios of Police, Corrections and Veterans' Affairs in the Fifth National Government....

.

Origins and history

Policing in New Zealand started in 1840 with the arrival of six constables accompanying Lt. Governor Hobson
William Hobson
Captain William Hobson RN was the first Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi.-Early life:...

's official landing party to form the colony of New Zealand. Early policing arrangements were along similar lines to the UK
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 and British colonial police forces, in particular the Royal Irish Constabulary
Royal Irish Constabulary
The armed Royal Irish Constabulary was Ireland's major police force for most of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. A separate civic police force, the unarmed Dublin Metropolitan Police controlled the capital, and the cities of Derry and Belfast, originally with their own police...

 and the New South Wales Police Force. Many of its first officers had seen prior service in either Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 or Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. The early Force was initially part police and part militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

.

At the outset, official establishment of sworn constables holding common law powers to arrest people was achieved by magistrates being given the power to swear them in via the Magistrates Ordinance of 1842. By 1846 the emerging organisation of a police force was recognised with the passage of the Armed Constabulary Ordinance. New Zealand's early police force continued to grow with the colony
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

, and was further enhanced with additional structure and rules with the passage of the first Police Act, the New Zealand Armed Constabulary Act of 1867. The Armed Constabulary took part in land wars against Māori opposed to colonial expansion at that time.

From the police force's beginnings in 1840 through the next forty years, policing arrangements varied around New Zealand. Whilst the nationally organised Armed Constabulary split its efforts between regular law enforcement functions and militia support to the Maori land wars
New Zealand land wars
The New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872...

, some provinces desired local police forces of their own. This led to a separate Provincial Police Force Act being passed by the Parliament. However, provincial policing models lasted only two decades as economic depression in the 1870s saw some provinces stop paying their police as they ran out of money. Eventually, government decided a single nationally organised police would be the best and most efficient policing arrangement.

The New Zealand Police Force was established as a single national force under the Police Force Act of 1886. The change in name was significant, and provincial policing arrangements were dis-established and their staff largely absorbed into the newly created New Zealand Police Force. At the same time, government took the important step to hive off the militia functions of the old Armed Constabulary, and form the genesis of today's New Zealand Defence Force, initially called in 1886 the New Zealand Permanent Militia.

Just a decade later, policing in New Zealand was given a significant overhaul. In 1898 there was a very constructive Royal Commission of Enquiry into New Zealand Police. The Royal Commission, which included the reforming Commissioner Tunbridge who had come from the Metropolitan Police in London, produced a far reaching report which laid the basis for positive reform of New Zealand Police for the next several decades. A complete review of Police's legislation in 1908 built significantly off the Royal Commission's work.

A further Police Force Act in 1947 reflected some changes of a growing New Zealand, and a country coming out of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. But the most significant change in the structure and arrangement for Police was to arrive after the departure of Commissioner Compton under a cloud of government and public concern over his management of Police in 1955. The appointment of a caretaker civilian leader of Police, especially titled "Controller General" to recognise his non-operational background, opened the windows on the organisation and allowed a period of positive and constructive development to take place.

In 1958, the word "Force" was removed from the name when legislation was significantly revised.

On 1 July 1992, the Traffic Safety Service of the Ministry of Transport was merged with the Police. Up until that time, the Ministry of Transport and local councils had been responsible for traffic law enforcement. In 2001, the Police re-established a specialist road policing branch known as the Highway Patrol. Today the Police are responsible for enforcing traffic law, while local councils enforce parking regulations. In 2010, after some calls to split traffic enforcement again from standard police duties, it was decided that it would remain part of their duties, partly due to the public having shown "enormous support" for it remaining this way.

The Police Act 1958 was extensively reviewed starting in 2006, after a two and a half year consultative process the Policing Act 2008
Policing Act 2008
The Policing Act 2008 state the functions and provide for the governance and administration of the New Zealand Police. It replaced the Police Act 1958....

 came into effect on 1 October 2008. The process included the world's first use of a wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

 to allow the public to submit/propose amendments. The wiki was open for less than two weeks, but drew international attention.

Notable policing events

During the 1981 Springbok tour
1981 Springbok Tour
The 1981 South African rugby union tour of New Zealand was a controversial tour of New Zealand by the South Africa national rugby union team, known as "the Springboks"...

, the Police formed two riot squads known as Red Squad and Blue Squad to control anti-apartheid protesters who laid siege to rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 fields where the touring team was playing.

In July 1985, the New Zealand Police arrested two French Security Service
Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure
The General Directorate for External Security is France's external intelligence agency. Operating under the direction of the French ministry of defence, the agency works alongside the DCRI in providing intelligence and national security, notably by performing paramilitary and counterintelligence...

 operatives after the Rainbow Warrior
Rainbow Warrior (1978)
The Rainbow Warrior was a former UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food trawler later purchased by the environmental organisation Greenpeace...

was bombed and sunk in Auckland
Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

 harbour. The rapid arrest was attributed to the high level of public support for the investigation.

A member of the New Zealand Police, Sergeant Stewart Graeme Guthrie
Stewart Graeme Guthrie
Stewart Graeme Guthrie, GC of New Zealand is the most recent civilian recipient of the George Cross, the highest award for conspicuous gallantry not in the face of an enemy awarded in certain Commonwealth countries...

, was the last civilian recipient of the George Cross
George Cross
The George Cross is the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations...

, which is awarded for conspicuous gallantry. He fired a warning shot near a gunman at Aramoana
Aramoana massacre
The Aramoana massacre was a mass murder that occurred on 13 November 1990 in the small seaside township of Aramoana, New Zealand. Resident David Gray, a 33-year-old unemployed man, began indiscriminately shooting people in the township with a scoped semi-automatic rifle, after a verbal dispute with...

 on 13 November 1990, but was killed by a return shot from the gunman, who also killed twelve others.

More recently, the New Zealand Police has been involved in international policing and peacekeeping missions to East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

 and the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

, to assist these countries with establishing law and order after civil unrest. They have also been involved in Community Police training in Bougainville
Bougainville Province
The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, previously known as North Solomons, is an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea. The largest island is Bougainville Island , and the province also includes the island of Buka and assorted outlying islands including the Carterets...

, in conjunction with Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

. Other overseas deployments for regional assistance and relief have been to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 as part of the reconstruction effort
Provincial reconstruction team
A Provincial Reconstruction Team is a unit introduced by the United States government, consisting of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, working to support reconstruction efforts in unstable states. PRTs were first established in Afghanistan in late 2001 or...

, the Kingdom of Tonga, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 for the tsunami disaster
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

 and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 after terrorist bombings. New Zealand Police maintains an international policing support network in eight foreign capitals, and has about 80 staff deployed in differing international missions.

At least 17 people were arrested in a series of raids
2007 New Zealand anti-terror raids
The 2007 New Zealand anti-terror raids were a series of armed police raids conducted on Monday, 15 October 2007, in response to the discovery of an alleged paramilitary training camp deep in the Urewera mountain range near the town of Ruatoki in the eastern Bay of Plenty...

 under the Suppression of Terrorism Act and the Arms Act 1983 on 15 October 2007. The raids targeted a range of political activists allegedly involved in illegal firearms activity.

Killed on duty

, 29 police officers have been killed by criminal acts, and about 17 by accident, while in the performance of their official duties. The last policeman to die was Senior Constable Len Snee, who was shot and killed by Jan Molenaar in the 2009 Napier shootings
2009 Napier shootings
Jan Molenaar, 51, was born of Ngāti Kahungunu extraction grew up in Napier where he went to Nelson Park Primary School, Napier Intermediate School and William Colenso College. In the 1980s he spent six years in the territorial armoured corps of the Hawke's Bay and Wellington Regiment...

.

Equipment

New Zealand Police officers do not normally carry firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

s while on patrol, but routinely carry pepper spray and batons
Baton (law enforcement)
A truncheon or baton is essentially a club of less than arm's length made of wood, plastic, or metal...

. Taser
Taser
A Taser is an electroshock weapon that uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles. Its manufacturer, Taser International, calls the effects "neuromuscular incapacitation" and the devices' mechanism "Electro-Muscular Disruption technology"...

s fitted with cameras were introduced following a decision by Commissioner Broad
Howard Broad
Howard George Broad, CNZM was the thirtieth New Zealand Commissioner of Police, serving from 2006 to 2011. He is a former career police officer, working in uniform and as a detective for eighteen years, before moving into senior roles at the Police National Headquarters in Wellington...

 in August 2008 as an additional non-lethal weapon. However, non-commissioned officers and specialist officers such as dog handlers and crime squad detectives often have a secure container within their police vehicle containing firearms; usually Glock 17 pistols as well as Bushmaster M4A3
Bushmaster M4A3
The M4 Type Carbine is a firearm manufactured by Bushmaster Firearms International, modeled on the AR-15 platform.-Overview:The M4 Type Carbine is effectively a reproduction of the Colt M4 Carbine, but is usually only semi-automatic for legality within the U.S. civilian market...

 XM15 carbines.

Weapons may be issued to front line staff in an armed response to a serious incident under the supervision of a senior officer. An armed response by police to an incident will often be considered a newsworthy event by the media.

In 1964, the Armed Offenders Squad
Armed Offenders Squad
The Armed Offenders Squad is a specialist unit of the New Zealand Police designed to "cordon, contain and appeal to" armed and dangerous offenders. As the name explains, they are called upon when conflict with an armed offender has occurred or is considered imminent.The AOS draw upon a varied...

 (AOS) was created to provide a specialist armed response unit, similar to CO19 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.

In addition to the AOS, the New Zealand Police maintain a full-time counter-terrorist unit, the Special Tactics Group
Special Tactics Group
The Special Tactics Group , formerly known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad, is the full-time tactical and counter-terrorism group of the New Zealand Police....

 (STG). Similar to the FBI's
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 Hostage Rescue Team
Hostage Rescue Team
The FBI Hostage Rescue Team is the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's counter-terrorism paramilitary tactical team. The HRT is trained to rescue U.S. citizens and allies who are held by a hostile force, either terrorist or criminal...

, the STG train in dynamic entry and other tactics vital in high-risk situations. The STG train with the SAS
Special Air Service of New Zealand
The New Zealand Special Air Service was formed on 7 July 1955 and is a special forces unit of the New Zealand Army modelled on the British Special Air Service . The New Zealand Government states that NZ SAS is the "premier combat unit of the New Zealand Defence Force". Its key roles are to...

 and are the last line of law enforcement response available before a police Incident Controller calls in support from the Military.

Counter-terrorism and military assistance

The NZ Police are accountable for the operational response to threats to national security, including terrorism
Terrorism in New Zealand
Terrorism in New Zealand is relatively uncommon, although a small number of cases exist.-Level of threat:The Security Intelligence Service stated in its 2006 report that "the risk of a terrorist attack on New Zealand or New Zealand interests is low", but also warned against complacency...

. If an incident escalates to a level where their internal resources are unable to adequately deal with the issue (for example, a major arms encounter or a significant terrorist threat), the Police Incident Controller may call on extra assistance from the New Zealand Defence Force
New Zealand Defence Force
The New Zealand Defence Force consists of three services: the Royal New Zealand Navy; the New Zealand Army; and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The Commander-in-Chief of the NZDF is His Excellency Rt. Hon...

 and in particular NZ's Special Forces, the military focused Special Air Service
Special Air Service of New Zealand
The New Zealand Special Air Service was formed on 7 July 1955 and is a special forces unit of the New Zealand Army modelled on the British Special Air Service . The New Zealand Government states that NZ SAS is the "premier combat unit of the New Zealand Defence Force". Its key roles are to...

 and terrorism focused CTTAG (Counter Terrorist Tactical Assault Group). Control of the incident remains with police throughout. As of 2009, the two military counter terrorist units have never been deployed in a domestic law-enforcement operation. Military resources such as Light Armoured Vehicles have been used and requested before, such as during the 2009 Napier Siege, and Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft are often used to assist in search and rescue and cannabis eradication operations.

Organisation

Although headed by a Commissioner
Commissioner of Police (New Zealand)
The Commissioner of Police is the head of the New Zealand Police. The Commissioner is appointed for a three-year term by the Governor-General, and reports to the Minister of Police. The position combines two functions, that of chief constable in charge of policing and cases, and chief executive...

, the New Zealand Police is a decentralised organisation divided into twelve districts, each with a geographical area of responsibility, three communications centres that each receive calls from *555 traffic, 111 emergency or general queues, and a Police National Headquarters that provides policy and planning advice as well as national oversight and management of the organisation.

District Commanders hold the rank of Superintendent
Superintendent (police)
Superintendent , often shortened to "super", is a rank in British police services and in most English-speaking Commonwealth nations. In many Commonwealth countries the full version is superintendent of police...

, as do sworn National Managers, the road policing manager in the Waitemata District, responsible for the motorway network and traffic alcohol group, and the commandant of the Royal New Zealand Police College
Royal New Zealand Police College
The Royal New Zealand Police College is the central training institution for police recruits and police officers in New Zealand. It is located at Papakowhai, approximately 2 km north of Porirua City....

. Area Commanders hold the rank of Inspector
Inspector
Inspector is both a police rank and an administrative position, both used in a number of contexts. However, it is not an equivalent rank in each police force.- Australia :...

 as do Shift Commanders based in each of the three Communications Centres. District Section Commanders are typically Senior Sergeants.
The New Zealand Police is a member of Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 and has close relationships with the Australian police forces
Law enforcement in Australia
Law enforcement in Australia is facilitated by police, sheriffs and bailiffs under the control of state, territory and the Federal governments. A number of specialist agencies also administer a wide variety of legislation related to white-collar crime....

, at both the state and federal level. Several New Zealand Police representatives are posted overseas in key New Zealand diplomatic missions.

The Police also work closely with the Serious Fraud Office
Serious Fraud Office (NZ)
The New Zealand Serious Fraud Office is based upon the British model. The SFO works closely with the New Zealand Police in trying to prevent serious and complex fraud....

.

Staff

While sworn officers make up the majority of the workforce, non-sworn staff and volunteers provide a wide range of support services where a sworn officer's statutory powers are not required.

Ranks

Rank insignia is worn on the epaulette
Epaulette
Epaulette is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia of rank by armed forces and other organizations.Epaulettes are fastened to the shoulder by a shoulder strap or "passant", a small strap parallel to the shoulder seam, and the button near the collar, or by laces on the...

s. Officers of Inspector rank and higher are commissioned by the Governor General, but are still promotions from the ranks of non-commissioned officers.
Rank Insignia Insignia description Military equivalent Percentage
of officers
Commissioner
Police commissioner
Commissioner is a senior rank used in many police forces and may be rendered Police Commissioner or Commissioner of Police. In some organizations, the commissioner is a political appointee, and may or may not actually be a professional police officer. In these circumstances, there is often a...

silver crossed sword and baton below a crown Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

5%
Deputy Commissioner silver crossed sword and baton below one star ("pip") Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

Assistant Commissioner three silver pips in a triangle below a crown Brigadier
Brigadier
Brigadier is a senior military rank, the meaning of which is somewhat different in different military services. The brigadier rank is generally superior to the rank of colonel, and subordinate to major general....

Superintendent
Superintendent (police)
Superintendent , often shortened to "super", is a rank in British police services and in most English-speaking Commonwealth nations. In many Commonwealth countries the full version is superintendent of police...

one silver pip below a crown Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

Inspector
Inspector
Inspector is both a police rank and an administrative position, both used in a number of contexts. However, it is not an equivalent rank in each police force.- Australia :...

three silver pips Captain
Senior Sergeant white crown between two ferns above police number Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer
A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

5%
Sergeant
Sergeant
Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

three white point-up chevrons above police number Sergeant
Sergeant
Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

15%
Senior Constable one white point-up chevron above police number 75%
Constable
Constable
A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

police number Private
Private (rank)
A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank .In modern military parlance, 'Private' is shortened to 'Pte' in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries and to 'Pvt.' in the United States.Notably both Sir Fitzroy MacLean and Enoch Powell are examples of, rare, rapid career...

Recruit word "RECRUIT" below police number


A recently graduated Constable
Constable
A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

 is considered a Probationary Constable for up to two years, until he or she has passed ten workplace assessment standards and a compulsory university paper. The completion of the above is known as obtaining permanent appointment.

Detective ranks somewhat parallel the street ranks up to Detective Superintendent. Trainee Detectives spend around 6–12 months time as a Constable on Trial after completing an intensive Selection and Induction course, before progression to Detective Constable after successful completion of several training modules. There is then a Workplace assessment for Detective Constables, and after approximately 2–3 years in the Criminal Investigation Branch
Criminal Investigation Branch
The Criminal Investigation Branch is one of the main branches of the New Zealand Police and it is dedicated to investigating and solving serious crime, and targeting organized crime and recidivist criminals. The CIB has existed since the civil Police Force was formed in 1886 by the Police Force...

, a Detective Constable may take the pre-requisite examination and qualifying course to become a Detective.

The rank of Senior Constable is granted to Constables after 14 years of service and the Commissioner of Police is satisfied with their conduct. Senior Constables are well regarded within the New Zealand Police for their extensive policing experience, and are often used to train and mentor other police officers.

Detective and Detective Constable are considered designations and not specific ranks. That is, Detectives do not outrank uniformed constables. Although, a police officer with a Detective designation will generally assume control of a serious crime scene rather than a uniform staff member regardless of rank.

New Zealand police uniforms formerly followed the British model closely but since the 1970s a number of changes have been implemented. These include the adoption of a medium blue shade in place of dark blue, the abolition of custodian helmets and the substitution of synthetic leather jackets for silver buttoned tunics when on ordinary duty. AOS
Armed Offenders Squad
The Armed Offenders Squad is a specialist unit of the New Zealand Police designed to "cordon, contain and appeal to" armed and dangerous offenders. As the name explains, they are called upon when conflict with an armed offender has occurred or is considered imminent.The AOS draw upon a varied...

 and STG
Special Tactics Group
The Special Tactics Group , formerly known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad, is the full-time tactical and counter-terrorism group of the New Zealand Police....

 members, when deployed, wear the usual charcoal-coloured clothing used by armed-response and counter-terror units
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 around the world. In 2008, a survey found strong staff support for the re-introduction of custodian helmets to reinforce the police's professional image.

Training and educational change

Under new management, in early 2009 the Royal New Zealand Police College embarked upon an assessment of its quality, purpose and personnel. This assessment led to the initiation of a programme of change. Within the programme are multiple projects, managed via four work streams addressing change in the areas of:
  • Strategy & Growth
  • Business Planning & Performance
  • Learning Pathways
  • Technology Assisted Learning


By September 2009, the programme had submitted a restructure to the organisation through formal consultation. By November 2009, 400 formal submissions were recorded.

Transport

The Holden Commodore
Holden Commodore
The Holden Commodore is an automobile manufactured since 1978 by the Holden subsidiary of General Motors in Australia, and, formerly, in New Zealand. In the mid-1970s, Holden established proposals to replace the long-serving Kingswood nameplate with a smaller, Opel-based model...

 is the current generic vehicle of choice for the Police - in the past they have used Ford Falcons
Ford Falcon (Australia)
The Ford Falcon is a full-size car which has been manufactured by Ford Australia since 1960. Each model from the XA series of 1972 onward has been designed, developed and built in Australia and/or New Zealand, following the phasing out of the American Falcon of 1960–71 which had been re-engineered...

 and the Nissan Maxima
Nissan Maxima
The first car to wear the Maxima name was introduced in 1981. It was essentially a Japanese-market Bluebird 910 with a longer nose. The car was offered as the 810 Deluxe or 810 Maxima that first year, and all 810s became Maximas for 1982...

. The highway patrol mainly uses the Holden Commodore S variant. Also the police currently use unmarked models of the Toyota Camry, Subaru Legacy, Holden Commodore and Hyundai Sonata. Also, Holden Rodeo utility vehicles and Holden Captiva's are used in rural areas. Liveries are checkered Battenburg markings
Battenburg markings
Battenburg refers to a pattern of high-visibility markings used to maximise conspicuity, primarily used on vehicles of the emergency services, but also in other applications such as uniforms...

 orange-blue (general duties) or yellow-blue (highway patrol), as well as cars in standard factory colours. Since 2008 the orange-blue livery is being phased out, and all marked patrol vehicles are expected to have the yellow-blue livery as well as LED light bars by 2014. Both Commodore sedan and wagon
Station wagon
A station wagon is a body style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door , instead of a trunk lid...

 bodies are used - normally in V6
V6 engine
A V6 engine is a V engine with six cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of three cylinders, usually set at either a right angle or an acute angle to each other, with all six pistons driving a common crankshaft...

 form and optionally with an LPG tank fitted.

Dog handlers have fully enclosed utility or station wagon vehicles, which may be liveried or unmarked, with cages in the rear and remotely operated canopy doors to allow the handler to release their dog if away from the vehicle.

The police operate one dedicated air unit - the Eagle helicopter in Auckland (an Aérospatiale AS355
Eurocopter AS355
The Eurocopter AS355 Ecureuil 2 is a twin-engine light helicopter originally manufactured by Aérospatiale...

), and two maritime units - the launch Deodar III and four smaller vessels in Auckland, and the launch Lady Elizabeth IV in Wellington.

Accountabilities

While the New Zealand Police is technically a government department and has political representation in Government through the Minister of Police, the Commissioner and all sworn members swear allegiance directly to the Sovereign
Monarchy in New Zealand
The monarchy of New Zealand also referred to as The Crown in Right of New Zealand, Her Majesty in Right of New Zealand, or The Queen in Right of New Zealand is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of the Realm of New Zealand,...

 and, by constitutional convention, have constabulary independence from the government of the day.

Crime statistics

In addition to the annual report, the Police also publishes six-monthly statistical summaries of crime for both New Zealand as a whole and each Police District. In early 2005, crime statistics
Crime statistics
Crime statistics attempt to provide statistical measures of the crime in societies. Given that crime is usually secretive by nature, measurements of it are likely to be inaccurate....

 for both Recorded Crime and Recorded Apprehensions for the last 10 years were published by Statistics New Zealand
Statistics New Zealand
Statistics New Zealand is the national statistical office of New Zealand.-Organisation:New Zealand's Minister of Statistics is Maurice Williamson who serves as a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives and holds several other posts within government...

. These statistics provide offence statistics down to individual sections of legislation and appear to be the most detailed national crime statistics available today.

Recent controversies

The New Zealand Police is considered one of the least corrupt
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 police forces in the world. Despite this, there have been a number of recent controversies that have put the Police under close scrutiny. While the Police Complaints Authority is an independent body that investigates complaints against the New Zealand Police, the following events have either fallen outside the authority's ambit or received significant publicity.

Historic sexual misconduct

In 2004, a number of historic sexual misconduct allegations dating from the 1980s were made against both serving and former police officers.

In March 2006 assistant police commissioner Clinton Rickards and former police officers Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum were charged with raping and sexually abusing Louise Nicholas
Louise Nicholas
Louise Nicholas is a New Zealand woman who alleged that several policemen raped her and obstructed evidence in the subsequent trials for rape.-Original accusations:...

 in Rotorua
Rotorua
Rotorua is a city on the southern shores of the lake of the same name, in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. The city is the seat of the Rotorua District, a territorial authority encompassing the city and several other nearby towns...

 during the 1980s. The defendants claimed all sex was consensual and all were found not guilty on 31 March 2006. In February 2007 the same three men faced historic charges of kidnapping and indecent assault for the pack rape of a 16-year-old girl with a whisky
Whisky
Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties, including barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and corn...

 bottle that took place in the early 1980s, and again they were acquitted. Information that had been kept from both juries (but was widely distributed following the 2006 not guilty verdicts) was then allowed to be publicly released: Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum were convicted in 2005 of another historic pack rape with an object and are currently serving lengthy prison sentences for this crime. Rickards subsequently resigned from the police.

Communications centres

New Zealand Police operate a system of three Communications Centres across the country:
  • Northern Communications Centre, based in Auckland and responsible for the northern half of the North Island, from Cape Reianga in the North to Hicks Bay, Desert Rd south of Turangi, and Awakino in the South.
  • Central Communications Centre, based in Wellington and responsible for the southern half of the North Island, from Mokau, Taumarunui, Desert Rd north of Waiouru, and Te Araroa in the North to Wellington in the South.
  • Southern Communications Centre, based in Christchurch, responsible for the entire South Island.


Together the three centres receive and dispatch 111-emergency calls and general calls for service.

In 2004 and 2005, the police were criticised over several incidents in which callers to the Police Communications Centres, particularly those using the 111
1-1-1
111 is the emergency telephone number in New Zealand. It was first implemented in Masterton and Carterton on 29 September 1958, and was progressively rolled out nationwide with the last exchanges converting in 1988...

 emergency telephone number
Emergency telephone number
Many countries' public telephone networks have a single emergency telephone number, sometimes known as the universal emergency telephone number or occasionally the emergency services number, that allows a caller to contact local emergency services for assistance. The emergency telephone number may...

, are alleged to have received inadequate responses.

In October 2004, under sustained political scrutiny for these apparent systemic problems in the Communications Centres, and after the Iraena Asher
Iraena Asher
Iraena Te Rama Awhina Asher was an Auckland trainee teacher and model who disappeared in controversial circumstances at Piha, a West Auckland beach, on 11 October 2004.At 9 p.m...

 incident received a lot of publicity and a whistle-blowing
Whistleblower
A whistleblower is a person who tells the public or someone in authority about alleged dishonest or illegal activities occurring in a government department, a public or private organization, or a company...

 employee resigned, the Commissioner of Police ordered an Independent Review into the Communications Centres. On 11 May 2005, the Review Panel released a report into the service which criticised the service for systemic failures and inadequate management, and expressed ongoing concerns for public safety.

Police acted on the recommendations of the review with a number of initiatives, including increasing communications centre staff numbers and then initiating a demonstration project for a future "Single Non-Emergency Number" (SNEN) centre, to reduce the load on the 111 service.

Police culture

An investigation into "Police Culture" reported on 10 October 2005 that while the defunct Emergency Response Group at Counties-Manukau used excessive force and took inappropriate and degrading photographs of people in custody, there was no nationwide problem with police culture. In a subsequent investigation into police culture by Margaret Bazley, she reported several elements of the problem police culture. These include strong bonding among colleagues, bad attitudes toward the use of alcohol, particularly when off duty, as well as a male-oriented culture.

Taser trial

The New Zealand Police taser
Taser
A Taser is an electroshock weapon that uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles. Its manufacturer, Taser International, calls the effects "neuromuscular incapacitation" and the devices' mechanism "Electro-Muscular Disruption technology"...

 trial commenced on Friday 1 September 2006 for a twelve month period. Some opposition to the trial has been expressed by various people, including Māori Party
Maori Party
The Māori Party, a political party in New Zealand, was formed on 7 July 2004. The Party is guided by eight constitutional "kaupapa", or Party objectives. Tariana Turia formed the Māori Party after resigning from the Labour Party where she had been a Cabinet Minister in the Fifth Labour-led...

 police spokesperson Hone Harawira
Hone Harawira
Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene Harawira is a New Zealand Māori activist and parliamentarian. He was elected to the Parliament of New Zealand for the Māori electorate of Te Tai Tokerau in the 2005 general election as the Māori Party candidate. His resignation caused the Te Tai Tokerau by-election, held...

, Green party
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is a political party that has seats in the New Zealand parliament. It focuses firstly on environmentalism, arguing that all other aspects of humanity will cease to be of concern if there is no environment to sustain it...

 police spokesperson, Keith Locke
Keith Locke
Keith James Locke is a current New Zealand MP representing the Green Party who was first elected to parliament in 1999. he is the Green Party spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Defence, Ethnic Affairs, Pacific Affairs, Human Rights, Immigration, Police and Auckland Transport...

, and several high profile individuals including Barrister
Barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

, Marie Dyhrberg and Sir Paul Reeves
Paul Reeves
Sir Paul Alfred Reeves, ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, CF, QSO was Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980 to 1985 and the 15th Governor-General of New Zealand from 22 November 1985 to 20 November 1990...

 who have formed a lobby group opposing their use. The first person to be tasered was an 18 year old after an incident in the Auckland
Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

 suburb of Western Springs
Western Springs
Western Springs is a residential suburb and park in the west of the city of Auckland in the north of New Zealand. It is located four kilometres to the west of the city centre, situated to the north of State Highway 16....

 on 8 September 2006.

Since the completion of the trial it has been revealed that even if the taser is approved it is unlikely that every frontline officer would be equipped with a taser. Tasers are likely to be issued in 2009, and the Commissioner has made recommendations in the 2009 budget to equip the remaining 8 Districts.

See also

  • Armed Offenders Squad
    Armed Offenders Squad
    The Armed Offenders Squad is a specialist unit of the New Zealand Police designed to "cordon, contain and appeal to" armed and dangerous offenders. As the name explains, they are called upon when conflict with an armed offender has occurred or is considered imminent.The AOS draw upon a varied...

  • Crime in New Zealand
    Crime in New Zealand
    Crime in New Zealand is of strong interest to the public due to concerns for personal safety and security of property. The media regularly reports only certain types of crimes and this may give a skewed perception to the public.-History:...

  • Crimes Act 1961
    Crimes Act 1961
    The Crimes Act 1961 is an Act of the Parliament of New Zealand administered by the Ministry of Justice.-Amendments:The Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 amended the Crimes Act, allowing for consensual homosexual relationships between men....

  • Diplomatic Protection Squad
    Diplomatic Protection Squad
    The Diplomatic Protection Squad is a branch of the New Zealand Police that provides personal security for both national and visiting VIPs. National VIPs protected include the Prime Minister, the Governor General, Ministers of the Crown, and the Leader of the Opposition, both within New Zealand and...

  • Organised Crime Agency
    Organised Crime Agency
    The Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand is an agency hosted within the New Zealand Police. The agency's stated objective is to "disrupt and combat organised crime"....

  • Royal New Zealand Police College
    Royal New Zealand Police College
    The Royal New Zealand Police College is the central training institution for police recruits and police officers in New Zealand. It is located at Papakowhai, approximately 2 km north of Porirua City....

  • Special Tactics Group
    Special Tactics Group
    The Special Tactics Group , formerly known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad, is the full-time tactical and counter-terrorism group of the New Zealand Police....

  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research
    Institute of Environmental Science and Research
    The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited is a Crown Research Institute in New Zealand.ESR's work underpins the health and justice systems in New Zealand by providing services in environmental health and forensic science....

    - provider of forensic services to NZ police.

External links

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