In 1840, with the arrival of Governor Hobson in New Zealand, Police Magistrates exercised their power to appoint selected men to act as Police. Six years later, on October 9, 1846, an ordinance for the establishment and maintenance of a constabulary force was passed.
This Act described the police force as "a sufficient number of fit and able men who would serve as an 'armed force' for preserving the peace and preventing robberies and other felonies and apprehending offenders against the peace."
The gold rushes of the 1860s in Otago and Canterbury meant police often had a difficult time keeping the peace. After 1867 the Armed Constabulary was also required to fight in the land wars.
The Police Act 1886 established New Zealand's first national, civil, police force. Sergeant John Nash was New Zealand's first non-commissioned police officer. The force was generally unarmed.
In 1958 a new Police Act was passed in which the word 'force' was removed. The name now used is The New Zealand Police.
New Zealand's modern police organisation has earned an international reputation for its professionalism.
New Zealand Police MuseumThe New Zealand Police Museum reveals the true stories of policing in New Zealand today and throughout history.
Historical objects and original evidence are used in displays that tell the story of the formation of New Zealand's Police as well as