The role of Police in New Zealand
- New Zealand Police are responsible for making sure New Zealand is a safe place to live and that everyone obeys the laws of this country.
- Police are trained to help and protect everyone in New Zealand.
- The main roles of police include preventing, investigating, solving and reducing crime and road crashes.
- Police will not tolerate any crime against a person based on race. See our safety information about hate crime.
- You are welcome and encouraged to approach police and talk with them or ask for help.
- New Zealand Police do not normally carry guns. There are some exceptions such as police at international airports or special police groups known as the Armed Offenders Squad.
- Most New Zealand Police wear a police uniform. However, some police officers including detectives do not wear a uniform (they wear plain clothes). If you are approached or questioned by a police officer in plain clothes, they should be able to tell you what police station they come from and show you their police identification card.
- Police work with many community groups, ethnic groups and government agencies to help make New Zealand a safe place to live, work and study.
Police service commitment
New Zealand Police will:
- Acknowledge your call
- Treat your case seriously
- Provide a responsive service
- Tell you about other agencies that may be able to assist you
- Tell you about what is being done, or will be done, so that our actions are properly understood.
What Police expect from you
- Let us know about your problem as soon as possible
- Provide as much information as you can
- Let us know if anything more happens
- Help us understand what you want
- Say if you need support.
Your rights with Police
If you are questioned, detained or arrested by Police, your legal rights are:
- You have the right to consult and instruct a lawyer, in private and without delay
- You have the right to refrain from making a statement
- You have the right to ask why you are being questioned, detained, or arrested.
Police have a list of the names and phone numbers of lawyers qualified to give advice and who have agreed to be contacted any time, day or night. Ask the Police for the list of Police Detention Legal Assistance Lawyers.Top
Complaints against Police
If you believe police have done something wrong, or that you were not treated fairly by police you can make a formal complaint, to any one of the following:
- Telephone or write to the Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCA); PO Box 5025, Wellington, Ph 0800 503 728 - toll free within New Zealand, or (04) 499 2050.
- Go to any Police station and tell them you want to make a complaint against police
- Write to the Commissioner of Police, PO Box 3017, Wellington
- Write to the Ombudsman
- Talk or write to your Member of Parliament
- Write to your local police District Commander: Northland Police District Private Bag 9016, Whangarei Waitematā Police District PO Box 331046, Takapuna Auckland City Police District Private Bag 92002, Auckland Counties Manukau Police District PO Box 76920, Counties Manukau Waikato Police District PO Box 3078, Hamilton Bay of Plenty Police District PO Box 741, Rotorua Eastern Police District PO Box 245, Napier Central Police District Private Bag 11040, Palmerston North Wellington Police District PO Box 693, Wellington Tasman Police District Private Bag 39, Nelson Canterbury Police District PO Box 2109, Christchurch Southern Police District Private Bag 1924, Dunedin.