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Women take a pride of place in Police Service

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, May 4, 2023

Breaking norms and barriers in everyday life is something most women are familiar with in their professional lives. It is hence, a positive piece of news when numbers show a higher number of women choosing Police careers, and bending the odds in their favour.

The 365 Kura Moeahu wing includes 22 newly graduating policewomen. Prior to the graduation of the 365 wing, the number of sworn policewomen had grown by 986 since 2017, an increase of 57% in under six years. Now with this graduation, the number of additional policewomen has grown by more than 1,000.

Sharing their success stories

Constable Holly Hannaby is looking forward to policing after studying for a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. During her studies, she worked with a multi-agency group that focused on youth offenders involved in fleeing driver and ram raids.

“Working with this group gave me insight into youth crime and the help and assistance that youth aid officers provide is something I would love to work towards with my career in the New Zealand Police,” she said.

Another graduating policewoman is Mikayla Sweetman who spends her spare time tramping and training for adventure races, such as Coast to Coast and Spring Challenge. She also enjoys mountain running and marathons.  “Becoming a police officer has always been a dream of mine but I lacked confidence so stepping out of my comfort zone for college was hard but worthwhile and I’ve enjoyed everything. Police College has given me life-long friends and memories and I look forward to the new challenges,” she said.

Constable Sarah-Jayne Keevil has represented Great Britain in the U16’s European squad for Equestrian Eventing and previously won the title of National Champion at the British Dressage National Championships. She said, “Although the process can take a long time, it is worth it. I like the challenge that policing will bring and the opportunity to make a positive impact on our communities.”

Awards and recognitions

This week 76 new officers celebrate their success with whānau and friends. The Wing Leadership Award winner is recruit Jacob Thomson, who was born and raised in the Hawke’s Bay. Mr Thomson has a graduate degree in classical history from Victoria University. Before joining the Police, he worked in the hospitality industry before moving to full-time work at the Ministry of Education.

He said “I have joined the New Zealand police to give back to Aotearoa’s communities. I have lived a safe and privileged life to date and hope to give back by making my experiences a reality for more New Zealanders through my actions. I see the New Zealand Police as my greatest opportunity to give back and love my work while doing it.” He is posted to Wellington District.

Awards

Minister’s Award recognising top student – Constable Troy Welch, Wellington District.

Patron’s Award for Second in Wing, recognising the second top student – Constable Albright Munang, Canterbury District.

Commissioner’s Award for Leadership – Constable Jacob Thomson, Wellington District.

Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award – Constable Joseph Mafi, Wellington District.

Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award – Constable Andrew Jowett, Waitematā District.

Firearms Award – Constable Oliver Giles, Counties Manukau District.

Details on numbers

The entire wing will now disperse to the following districts on Monday, 15 May 2023, where they will be deployed in the following numbers.

Northland – 2, Auckland – 14, Counties Manukau – 15, Waitematā – 2, Waikato – 5, Bay of Plenty – 8, Eastern – 2, Central – 3, Wellington – 11, Tasman – 3, Canterbury – 4, Southern – 7.

In terms of the demographics, 27% of the wing were females while 73% were males. New Zealand Europeans make up 67.6% of the wing, with Māori 10.8%, Pacific 12.2%, Asian 8.1% and Latin American, African and Middle Eastern (LAAM/other) 1.4%.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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