Home > National News

Issue No. 399 February 2016

In celebration of 75 years

The role of women in Police has changed beyond recognition in 75 years.
Photo: Al Guthrie (with thanks to Constable Loretta Hunt-Tevaga, Wellington District)

On 3 June 1941 ten women entered a Wellington training depot, launching a new era of policing in New Zealand. This year we mark the 75th anniversary of women in Police by looking to our future as we celebrate our history.

“We’re using the 75th anniversary as a platform for a number of events,” says Deputy Chief Executive Public Affairs Karen Jones, whose team has the lead in organising celebrations.

“It won’t just be a one-off celebration in June – the milestone date will kick off a year of events to mark the occasion.”

Events will link into the recruitment programme to ensure the next generation of women is aware of the potential of a policing career - a far cry from the early days when duties were restricted mainly to women, children and office work.

“Commissioner Mike Bush is clear that he wants Police to reflect the communities we serve,” says Karen. “Currently nearly 20 percent of constabulary staff are women but we have a while to go before we match the population as a whole. So, while we’ve made good progress, there is more that can be done to showcase Police as an employer who appeals to all genders.”

Plans are under way for celebrations at national and district level, with social media support. The flagship will be a new exhibition at the Police Museum, highlighting the diversity of ways women are helping shape policing.

“It will showcase our past and look forward to our future,” says Karen. “We’re also hoping to have a pop-up exhibition with appropriate artefacts – such as the famous Police-issued handbag women were required to carry - which can travel to the districts and support local events.”

National and local Women’s Advisory Networks have contributed ideas. Organisers are contacting retired staff and are looking to the AOS 50th anniversary celebrations of 2014 as an example of a highly successful series of national and local events.

Keep an eye on Ten One for updates.

How we stand

As at 1 February, women comprised 32.19 percent of all New Zealand Police staff and 19.8 percent (1772) of 8958 constabulary staff. By contrast, five years ago 17.3 percent (1524) of 8788 constabulary staff were women.

By the ranks (2011 percentage in brackets)

Authorised Officer 25.2% (n/a)
Constable 22.44% (19.8)
Sergeant 11.24% (10.4)
Senior Sergeant 11.13% (10.1)
Inspector 12.64% (8.5)
Superintendent 17.07% (4.8)

Contact the editor  |  Designed and published by inbox Ltd - NZ specialist for email newsletters

Text and images copyright 2004-2016 New Zealand Police unless otherwise stated
Privacy and security statements