Hello future constable,
Welcome to a career where you’ll get to help people everyday, and where you’ll always get the best work stories. Police offers exciting career progression and promotional opportunities. Check out the timeline of possible jobs and some key benefits of working at police below.
General Duties Constable
You’ll start as a probationary constable, responding to emergencies and preventing crime. On-the-job training continues as you attend incidents like street disorder, family violence, road crashes, and stolen car investigations. You'll participate in operations at major sporting events, prepare files for court and help to locate missing people. Police offers a starting salary of $52K with an average remuneration of $59K*. After two years you’ll become a full constable. From there you may choose to stay in the role or apply for one of the areas below.* (Includes salary, life insurance allowances, and superannuation).
Passionate about helping vulnerable young people? Youth aid requires you to think laterally to get young people out of the justice system. You’ll work with kids, teens, parents, community organisations and other agencies to help turn young lives around.
As a Detective, you'll be trained to investigate and solve serious crime by targeting organised crime and those who keep on offending. Applicants who have a background in law are often drawn to this career path — although there are no prerequisites. Your cases may include homicides, aggravated violence, sexual offending, drug offences and fraud.
Search and Rescue
During your career you can apply for specialist positions such as the Police Negotiation Team or Search and Rescue (SAR). To get into 'on-call' roles like these you need to excel in your regular duties. SAR officers say there is no greater feeling than going into the bush to find a missing person.
Family Violence Team
Safer communities start with people being (and feeling) safer at home. Family Violence Teams work hard to prevent child abuse, cyber-bullying and intimate partner violence. You'll need to be savvy in the digital world, have great communication skills and a strong empathy for vulnerable people and victims.
Dive Squad members have regular police duties in addition to their dive work and training. The squad spends most of its time on evidential searches. Sometimes these searches involve difficult underwater video work, which is later used as evidence. The squad has limited places and is filled from existing police officers. The work is often not much fun as it can involve locating bodies. However the team finds the job rewarding, especially when they locate someone's loved one.
Neighbourhood Policing Team
For this role you'll need awesome problem solving abilities and communication skills. Working alongside a small team of police officers, your job will be to stamp out the root causes of crime in a neighbourhood. These communities may have higher crime rates and entrenched social issues so you'll need to be innovative. You’ll work with other agencies, bars, schools, churches, sports groups and businesses to support victims and get repeat offenders off the justice treadmill.
Iwi Liaison Officer
Becoming an Iwi Liaison Officer is a rewarding and satisfying way of serving Māori, your community and rangatahi. It's desirable if you know Te Reo and Tikanga Māori. These skills will be used to work with iwi and whanau on preventing crime, crashes and victimisation.
Ethnic Liaison Officer
New Zealand's communities are increasingly diverse. We are looking for people with skillsets that allow them to work with different cultures to ensure all communities remain safe and secure. This role leads to a huge variety of work stories. You'll do everything from attending cultural celebrations, through to educating migrants about NZ laws and helping international travellers who end up being victims of crime. To be effective in this role you need a strong understanding of another culture or language.
Financial Crime Unit
Almost all crime is financially motivated. Got a background in finance or accounting? This could be your calling. Using key pieces of legislation, your objective will be to disrupt, derail and deter crime. The financial crime unit collects information on suspicious financial transaction reports that come from banks and other financial institutions. The team also monitors large amounts of cash crossing our borders, and supports investigations into money laundering.
Schools Community Officers
As a Schools Community Officer you could help students fulfill their potential by delivering education about how to stay safe. The role works alongside students with behavioural issues, promotes a safe school environment and responds to incidents that affect the well-being of children and staff. If you have the ability to relate to young people or already have a career as a teacher this could be for you.
Road crashes result in more years of life being lost than any other source of injury in New Zealand. They are also the leading causes of death to children and of disabilities to people aged 14-44. The good news is that by becoming a cop, you can do something about it. By working in one of several areas of road policing (including highway patrol, heavy vehicle investigations unit and the serious crash unit) you can make a huge impact in saving lives and reducing harm in our communities.
Child Protection Team
Everybody deserves to grow up without fear for their safety. By working in the Child Protection Team you help to give society’s most vulnerable people a voice. In this role you will co-operate with other agencies to deliver the best care for kids who have suffered physical, psychological or sexual abuse. While at times the work is sobering, you go home each day a with a feeling that you are making a difference.
Constables can specialise in crime scene examination as a Scene of Crime Officer or in forensic imaging as a Police Photographer. These officers would work alongside other non-constabulary forensic specialists such as Fingerprint Officers, Document Examiners, Armourers, and Electronic Crime Analysts.
There are two sides to every story. A police prosecutor fronts police’s side in relation to criminal and traffic prosecutions. The role requires you to conduct legal research, present evidence at court and prepare written submissions to strengthen the prosecution's case. You may apply for this role from outside police if you already have an LLB and a current practicing certificate (you'll need 2+ years experience), or you can apply once you hold the office of constable. You'll need exceptional judgement, strong communication skills, and be quick on the uptake.
Armed Offenders Squad
When there is a threat of firearms being used used against members of the public police will typically deploy the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS). Their basic method of operation is to “cordon, contain and appeal” to the armed offenders. Through negotiation tactics and training, the vast majority of cases are resolved without having to use physical force. AOS members are part-time, drawn from all branches of police. To become an AOS member we expect a high level of performance in your regular police duties and you would also need to complete a rigorous selection and induction course.
Organised Crime and Drugs Unit
The aim in this unit is to combat drugs manufacturing and distribution. You'll seek to disrupt organised crime groups (including gangs) and dismantle their asset bases and profits. Drugs can lead to addiction and if left unchecked, can create an environment where organised crime may thrive. Fortunately, organised criminals are starting to get the message that NZ is NOT a good place for them to do business. Before specialising into the unit, you'd need to complete training in the Criminal Investigations Branch.
Whether at home or abroad, you would provide protection for the Prime Minister, Governor General, as a well as other key positions and VIP guests to NZ. The Protection Service requires strong team players with a high level of ethics, integrity and physical fitness. Duties include close personal protection, combined with in-depth planning and venue security. You’ll be liaising closely with foreign police, embassies and agencies such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Photographers work in police stations around the country. They use still or video cameras to record any evidence that may help a criminal inquiry or a later prosecution. Their work includes documenting homicides, sexual assaults, robbery, arson, burglary, drug scenes, car crashes, and suspicious deaths.
You'll have plenty of opportunity to climb the ranks. It takes as little as 5 years to become a section sergeant. From there anything is possible, even becoming the Police Commissioner.
International Liaison Officer (Interpol)
NZ Police supports Interpol (International Crime Police Organisation) in cases including international missing persons, child abductions across international borders, extraditions and criminal history checks. Officers who choose a path in Criminal Investigations can work towards becoming a Police Liaison Officer based in Bangkok, Sydney, Canberra, Washington, London, Jakarta, Apia, or Beijing. Your role would be to cooperate with international agencies, collecting and sharing intelligence on drugs, terrorism, and other criminal matters.