Can I be a cop?

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What do I need?

He aha ngā mea e tika ana? (Te rārangi o ngā hiahia)

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What do I need?

The qualities that make a cop 

Our organisation has people with different backgrounds, experiences and interests. What unites us is that we’re all working toward the same vision - we want to make New Zealand the safest country in the world.

We encourage applications from anyone who’s got what it takes, regardless of your gender, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, or faith. We’re also very interested in applicants who understand different languages and cultures. New Zealand’s diversity is growing, so bring your background and values to the job.

Above all else, you’ll want to help people in your community. You’ll need to make tough calls, build community networks, and instill confidence in those around you. You’ll understand the communities you serve and identify and examine the problems that lead to trouble.

This role can influence the lives of many. If you decide to push ahead and apply, our constabulary recruitment staff will look to see if you have these meaningful qualities:

  • Outstanding communication skills
  • Empathy for others
  • Commitment
  • Integrity
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • A sense of humour is also pretty important. 

To enhance these qualities, you could do some work in your community - perhaps working with a community group, joining a community patrol, coaching a sports team, mentoring young people, volunteering or fundraising.


Here are the must haves:

  • You must be at least 17 years old to apply and 18 when you start at Police College. There’s no upper age limit
  • You must be a New Zealand or Australian citizen or have New Zealand residency
  • You must be able to speak, read, write and listen in English
  • You must be physically fit
  • You must have good eyesight
  • You must have a restricted New Zealand Driver Licence to apply and obtain your full licence before you start at Police College. 

You’ll also need to:

  • Let our recruitment staff know about any previous criminal or traffic convictions including warnings, court appearances, and diversions
  • Provide police clearance for any other country you've worked or lived in for longer than three months.
  • Familiarise yourself with all the steps of the Recruitment Process

Still have questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.