Joining police means you’ll never stop growing and improving. You’ll learn about yourself, your abilities and strengths and how they can be put to best use.
You’ll also learn how you and your fellow police officers can make a positive difference to the lives of people around you. New Zealanders should be able to live confidently without fear of crime. Together with communities, police help keep New Zealanders safe in their homes, on the streets and on the roads.
Our job is to enforce the law with courage and compassion. We also work with potential victims, whanau, community organisations, Iwi, businesses and other Government agencies to prevent harm from occurring in the first place.
Police offers numerous professional development and promotional opportunities as you progress. The key areas of your work during your first few years as a police officer will be:
Serving the Community
Your responsibilities will include protecting life and property, safeguarding individual freedoms, maintaining public order, preventing crime, and both detecting and apprehending offenders.
Front Line Duties
On the front line, you will have a lot of contact with the community. You’ll learn the routine events and behaviour patterns in your patrol area, and develop an instinct for when something is out of the ordinary or requires your attention. You’ll respond to incidents that require police intervention and give public safety advice to the people on your beat. Part of your responsibility will also be to foster goodwill between police and the community.
Using your initiative and judgement is very important in policing. You’ll be using a lot of these skills while you interview complainants, witnesses and offenders, investigate crimes, collect evidence and give verbal and written reports.
Communicating with People
A big part of your job will be to give and gather information. This will include giving and asking for advice, mediating disputes, resolving conflict, dealing compassionately with victims, and being sensitive to the needs of different cultures.
If you have the ability to communicate in another language this could give you an advantage because it will enable you to be responsive to people from a variety of backgrounds. That said, your ability to communicate effectively in English (through reading, active listening, writing and speaking) is necessary to be successful in the role.
Achieving results depends critically on your verbal and written English skills. You’ll need to be an effective and influential communicator who can adjust tone and style to suit a variety of situations.
These settings will include working alongside colleagues within the New Zealand legal system, training at police college and in serving the community at large.
Working in Varied Conditions
Policing offers greater work/life balance than most other careers, but it also means working rostered shifts, including weekends and night work. You’ll work in all weather conditions, and sometimes in uncomfortable social environments. While you’ll be treated with respect by most people, others may greet you with hostility or contempt. That means you’ll need to be tolerant towards all types of people and work in an objective, rational, balanced way, regardless of the circumstances.
For more details, have a look at a General Duties Constable's job description.
Using your Knowledge
You’ll have a good working knowledge of the law and your duties. You’ll learn as much as possible about how to increase community safety and prevent and detect crime. You will develop your knowledge of human nature and behaviour, and use this knowledge to help you relate to the community you work in.
To get started, watch our information video now.