What schooling qualifications do I need to apply?
There is no minimum educational qualification to join NZ Police. Good written and verbal communication skills and proficiency in maths and English are also recommended.
If you don’t have a minimum education level of NCEA Level 2 or 3 literacy (or equivalent), University Entrance or a University Degree, you'll need to complete an additional Literacy Assessment (POST) after you’ve passed your online testing. This assesses language literacy, and the content is specifically relevant to Police Officers.
Read more about the Online Testing stage here.
How has recruitment changed since Desiree was accepted into Police?
Over the last 4 years, Police has implemented a range of changes and improvements to the selection process.
We haven’t always got it right, and we reviewed and made significant changes to our vetting standards in 2019, and have reviewed our National Selection panel and how we approach our appeals process as well. If you have previously been declined and would like to discuss your personal circumstances, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Police doing to remove barriers in the application process?
Police has implemented a range of changes and improvements to the selection process to support fair and equitable outcomes for applicants and to improve the recruitment experience. We recognise we have not always got this right, but are committed to ensuring our processes are fair and equitable to all.
Over the last 4 years major changes include a significant shift in vetting criteria to ensure individual circumstances are considered, changing to a fairer body mass index (BMI) based scoring system for Police’s Physical Appraisal test (PAT) which has created more equitable outcomes, changes to our National Selection Panel process, introduction of our Whānau Kaitautoko process and replaced distance learning (at cost to the applicant) with three days of paid pre-college learning.
In recent years for the first time ever Police can show that applicants making it though the selection process at the same rate regardless of gender or ethnicity.
Can I appeal a historical permanent stand down, or current stand down?
We take all applications on a case-by-case basis and it is completely dependent on specific vetting considerations. It is important that you fully disclose any previous interactions you, your partner or anyone close to you may have had with the Police when you apply. The reasoning is so that we can begin a conversation with you and ensure that we are giving you an opportunity to talk about why you want to join, and address concerns that you or we may have regarding historical incidents. Please contact us at email@example.com to discuss your individual circumstances.
How does familial offending and gang associations affect my application?
We live in a small country where people considering a career with Police often have wide networks across their community, families and whānau. This means when someone applies to join Police, we need to look at their close contacts to ensure applicants will be safe from any external influences that might threaten their ability to do their job fairly and professionally at all times. And of course, we want to do all we can to ensure staff safety.
Disclosing any previous interactions with police and disclosing any concerns that you may have when you submit your application allows us to have conversations with you early on in your selection process regarding how we might manage any concerns, or allow you further opportunity to add context and engage with us face to face with support persons.
We continue to review how we go about this work, to ensure the process is as fair, equitable and holistic for all applicants, including those who have very wide networks.
We take all applications on a case-by-case basis, and we welcome discussions about how we can support your application moving forward. We recommend that you email firstname.lastname@example.org so that recruitment staff can guide you through the application process.
What is being undertaken to improve the relationship Police have with Māori? What work is underway to improve outcomes for Māori?
As a Crown Agency we are required and committed to supporting Māori and the Treaty. We are also committed to acknowledging and learning from past injustices and mistakes, so that today and into the future, we can provide the best possible service for Māori, and for all New Zealanders.
In the past six years we have established 12 dedicated Māori Responsiveness Managers to guide internal Police practice and build and sustain effective partnerships with iwi/Māori leaders, elders, influencers and service providers (eg local runanga, Whanau Ora), Māori Wardens and members of the Police Māori Advisory Boards within each District. The Māori Responsiveness Managers strengthen the work of the Iwi Liaison Officers who work with Māori communities to share ownership of problems and develop effective and sustainable solutions together as well as providing professional support and development to Police staff.
We have a dedicated Deputy Chief Executive Māori position, to ensure a Māori viewpoint is present and heard as part of every Police Executive discussion and decision. We have a long-term organisational focus on increasing the bicultural compentency of our staff.
We are in the process of extending Te Pae Oranga – Community Justice Panels by 40% from their current levels. These panels are open to all New Zealanders, but because they are founded on Māori restorative justice approaches have been shown to be particularly effective at reducing reoffending amongst young Māori.
We have also established dedicated recruitment targets for Māori and so we can ensure our Police officers reflect the communities they serve, which helps to build trust and understanding and leads to better outcomes for Māori.
Our focus is on working with our partners, community leaders and iwi so we can better understand what Māori are experiencing when they engage with Police, to make sure that every community receives the fair and equitable policing they deserve.
How do we support our staff mental and spiritual wellbeing? What should Police do to look after their hauora?
Our focus is on ensuring our people feel empowered, supported and recognised for making safety and wellness an intrinsic part of what they do for themselves and others, and providing support for staff through internal networks, assistance programmes and advisors.
Te Whare Tapa Whā, a tikanga Māori framework that describes wellbeing as a wharenui with four walls and a foundation, all interlinked. It helps us identify where we need extra support. It is important to have support from whānau and friends, and remember that wellness is an intrinsic part of what we do for ourselves and others.
Why do we need Police that can relate to the community, or are local to the area?
Police wants recruits from all parts of the New Zealand community and we value the diversity they create in our organisation, including their experiences, cultures, languages, skillsets and community relationships. A diverse workforce helps us to better understand and connect with our communities and deliver on our mission – to prevent crime and harm through exceptional policing. We welcome people from different cultures, different backgrounds and experiences. For Māori, you may be able to go back and Police in your local community.
By living and working in your own community you will understand and relate to the people you serve. Applying a Te Ao Māori view, through the alignment of uara Māori with Our Values, help to ensure we can be culturally responsive and work to restore and strengthen the wellbeing of individuals, whānau, and communities.
How can I help my community as a Police officer?
As a Police officer you’ll make a positive difference to the lives of people around you. You’ll help keep New Zealanders safe in their homes, on the streets, and on the roads. You’ll enforce the law with courage and compassion, and work with potential victims, whānau, community organisations, iwi, businesses, and other government agencies. You’ll prevent harm and help make New Zealand even safer for us all.
How important is it to have the support of whanau and friends when applying, and as an officer?
The selection process is long and robust but worth it! During the process and throughout your career it will be important to surround yourself with the support of whānau and friends. We know not everyone will always be supportive, but having a few people you can depend on is important. Being able to maintain interests and hobbies outside a career in Policing is also great for your for your hauora. Things can get tough, but we’re here to help and support you too.
What kind of skills and life experience do you need to join Police? How does this affect my application?
Our organisation wants people with different backgrounds, experiences and interests to ensure we best understand and connect with our communities. 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. We want you to bring your background, experiences and values to the job - so if this includes an understanding of different languages and cultures, we'd love to hear about this.
Working in your community, hobbies and other interest all adds to your application, and while it’s not a specific requirement, we encourage you to think about this when preparing your application. Contribution to your iwi, church or involvement in local groups are also things we want to hear about, as this often demonstrates personal attributes that would make you a great Police officer.
Ensuring we get the right people to keep our communities safe is of absolute importance to us, so our constabulary recruitment staff will look to see if you have these meaningful qualities:
- Outstanding communication skills
- Empathy for others
- Problem-solving abilities
- A sense of humour is also pretty important.
There are also literacy and phyical requirements you'll need to meet as part of the recruitment process. Learn more about this here.