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Initial Background Checks


Initial Background Checks

Once we receive your application, we'll use the information to complete initial background checks on you and your partner/spouse (if you have one). 

Regarding any offences, each applicant is assessed using the C.A.R.E model to determine their eligibility:

  • Classification of the offence(s)
  • Age of the applicant
  • Recency of history
  • Extent of history

People with serious proven convictions relating to specific drugs, dishonesty, violence and sexual crimes, recent or multiple drink-driving convictions can’t join New Zealand Police.

People with less serious or one-off historic convictions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Background checks are part of the selection process and every applicant is assessed on their own merit. We are unable to provide details regarding an outcome until you apply. 

It's essential you fully disclose all Police interactions to the recruitment team in your application and throughout the recruitment process.

If we require more information from you about your Police interactions we’ll ask for a formal letter of explanation before progressing. This will be evaluated by a Recruitment Manager.


Further checks that occur later in the process (not necessarily in this order): 

For all applicants:​

  • Credit checking - used to assess financial decision making and whether there's any risk to New Zealand Police
  • Core children's worker check under the Children's Act 2014
  • Immigration check
  • Fingerprint clearance - Please visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/knowledgebase/kb-question/kb-question-14220 for where you can get your fingerprints taken
  • Background checks on family and friends. We'll ask you for details of your family and friends further on in the process. Some proven charges and offences concerning your family or friends may have an impact on your application, however all are considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reference checks 

For some applicants:

  • Overseas Police clearance - if you have lived overseas for three months or more, we will ask you to obtain police clearance from the relevant jurisdiction. Please visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/tools-and-information/tools/police-certificates for more information on this process
  • Military clearance - if you have served with NZDF, we will ask for your consent to obtain your NZDF records
  • MSD benefit check - if you've ever received a government benefit, we will ask for your consent to verify with MSD your benefit history including any payment issues

If we require more information following any of our further checks, we will ask for a formal letter of explanation from you. This additional information will be evaluated by the Recruitment Team. In some circumstances an interview with a senior Police Officer may be required, or your application may be referred to our National Selection Panel for a final decision.