Information for journalists

What does the Police Media Centre do?

The Police Media Centre responds to enquiries from journalists and proactively gives information on investigations, operations and all aspects of police work. The team also provides support and advice to police staff regarding the media. While normally working in Wellington and Auckland, the media team is always on standby for immediate travel during critical events and operations in districts.

What areas do you cover?

The Auckland hub covers Auckland districts and Northland during weekday business hours. The Wellington hub deals with all other districts, plus Auckland and Northland at weekends and in the evening. The Wellington team may manage Auckland/Northland issues during weekday business hours if the Auckland team are busy.

How do I get in touch with the Police media team?

You can call us or email us. We will often ask you to send us an email after you have called so we have an accurate record of your enquiry. This helps ensure we properly understand what you require and so we can easily get your enquiry to the right person.

How do I receive information about police?

Subscribe to our media releases as well as follow us on social media.

Subscribe to news alerts
Facebook
Twitter
Snapchat
YouTube
Instagram

During crisis events we are more likely to initially give information out through our Twitter account rather than media releases.

How does the Police Media Centre get its information?

The media team has access to most of the main information systems used by Police. While some enquiries may seem simple, they can often involve searching multiple systems and liaison with specific staff. There is no single system which holds all details about police operations, investigations and data.

We’re told about a police car with lights and sirens going.
Can you immediately tell us what is happening?

We will do our best but the reality is often we can’t. The information available in the early stages of an event frequently changes. We must be certain about the accuracy of any information we provide and this can take time, particularly if we have to contact staff who are dealing directly with the event.

What information can you give?

We must comply with our obligations under the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act. Police must also sometimes withhold information which may impact on ongoing investigations or be prejudicial to court and other judicial proceedings. In general we are also unable to respond to requests which seek to confirm whether specific individuals are under investigation, or are about the criminal record of individuals.

How quickly will you respond?

We always aim to respond within a journalist’s deadline. However some enquires can be more complex than they appear and take longer to respond to. We will endeavour to keep you informed if this is the case.

Why does it take time before victims are named?

We must be satisfied that all next-of-kin have been advised before we can release a victim’s name. This can take time, particularly if the family situation is complex or relatives are overseas. Sometimes we must also liaise with the Coroner. Identification of a victim on social media does not mean that all next-of-kin are aware of a death.

Do you give preference to certain media outlets?

No. We aim to be fair and equitable with all media. However we may prioritise depending on deadlines or if they involve public safety issues.

Can I still talk directly to local police?

Yes. Individual police staff are still authorised to talk directly to media. However those staff may choose to direct you to the media centre if for a number of reasons they are unable to directly respond to your enquiry.

Will you tell other media organisations about my enquiry?

No. While we may sometimes let you know that we have had other enquiries about the same issue, we will not disclose who those enquiries are from. The exception may be if we receive calls from different journalists at the same media organisation about the same issue.

How busy are you?

Police has the largest demand of any individual Government department and we can receive up to 200 media enquiries a day. The media advisers are usually dealing with multiple jobs at any one time.

Do you respond to requests from student journalists?

We will do our best but priority will be given to working journalists from media organisations, particularly during busy periods.

Can I always deal with one media adviser?

The media team work early, late and weekend shifts and have rostered days off much like a newsroom. This means it is not always possible to deal with the same person when you need to contact us.

Who works in the Police Media Centre?

The media team are all police employees (non-sworn) who come from a range of media, journalism and communications backgrounds.

How can I get an officer to do a quick radio or TV interview?

We will always put interview requests before the relevant officer. However their availability might depend on their operational commitments and their roster.

Can media centre staff give audio or TV interviews?

No. Interviews are given by the relevant police staff responsible for an issue or event.