Police Officer Pirihimana

Police officers work to prevent and solve crime, keep the peace, and respond to criminal activities and emergencies.

Police officers may do some or all of the following:

  • patrol selected areas on foot or by car
  • help people in a wide range of emergencies
  • investigate crimes, domestic disturbances, serious crashes and sudden deaths
  • interview people and take statements
  • search for and arrest suspected criminals
  • write reports
  • give evidence in court
  • direct traffic 
  • work with schools to provide safety and crime prevention education. 

Physical Requirements

Police officers need to have:

  • excellent fitness and health 
  • good hearing
  • normal colour vision
  • good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses). 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for police officers includes:

  • being part of a team such as a sports team
  • working in a security role
  • working with people from a diverse range of communities, ethnicities and backgrounds
  • involvement in community-based activities such as coaching sports, mentoring young people and volunteering.

Personal Qualities

Police officers need to be:

  • good communicators
  • able to relate to a wide range of people and cultures
  • mature and responsible, and able to keep information private
  • good at solving problems and making decisions
  • patient and helpful
  • honest and committed to people's safety
  • disciplined and able to remain calm in emergencies
  • good at written and verbal reporting
  • able to work as part of a team.


Police officers need to have:

  • knowledge of police policy and procedures, the legal system and community support services
  • skills in observation
  • skills in interviewing, problem solving and negotiation.


Police officers:

  • usually work shifts, including nights and weekends 
  • work in a variety of locations, including offices, courts, urban streets and rural areas
  • may be at risk of verbal or physical abuse
  • may travel to different sites around the country and overseas to help investigate crimes and attend conferences.

Police Officers can earn around $61K-$68K per year.

Pay for police officers varies depending on skills, experience, and the type of work they do. 

  • Police officers in training can expect to earn $45,000 a year. 
  • Graduate police officers usually start on $61,000.
  • Police officers with one to four years' experience usually earn $61,000 to $68,000.
  • Police officers with more than four years' experience usually earn $68,000 to $129,000.

Police officers may receive allowances for items such as travel, food and clothing, extra duties, overtime and insurances.

Source: New Zealand Police, 'New Zealand Police Constabulary Collective Employment Agreement 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021', 2020.

Police officers may progress to leadership positions such as detective or sergeant.

Police officers may join a specialised police unit such as:

  • armed offenders squad
  • child protection team
  • dog handling
  • forensics
  • road policing
  • search and rescue
  • youth aid.

Years Of Training

<1 year of training required.

To become a police officer you need to complete the police training course, which involves:

  • 16 weeks of training at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua
  • two years of supervised police work, which is regularly assessed 
  • a compulsory 12-week university distance learning course.

To enter police training you must:

  • be at least 17 years old
  • hold a full driver's licence
  • be a New Zealand or Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • be able to speak, read, write and listen in English
  • pass psychological, maths and problem-solving tests
  • pass physical fitness and eyesight tests
  • attend an interview
  • notify police of any previous traffic or criminal offences. 

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

Police Officer

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