Evidence Newsletter, November 2006
November 2006 - ISSN No.1175-9631
Staff of the New Zealand Police Museum
Changes have been in the air for familiar faces Sophie Giddens and Kamaya Yates, and a new face has joined the Police Museum staff.
Sophie has moved into the Collection Officer position recently vacated by Kamaya. “Every day provides amazing new discoveries about police history. I also enjoy meeting people who are passionate about their own role in police history. It is really exciting and I?am looking forward to challenges in the New Year.”
Kamaya was appointed Museum Manager in April 2006. “My first important task was to work with Sophie to appoint a new Customer Services Officer. It was a long but rewarding process and we were really fortunate to be able to select a very talented person.”
Emma Godwin has a Master of Arts in history and has ambitions to be a curator in the future. I?am really pleased to have the chance to work with the team at the New Zealand Police Museum. It’s exciting to be in an environment that is undergoing innovative change. I am looking forward to the next couple of years when I?will have the opportunity to contribute to some very interesting projects such as the International Police Museum Conference.
120th Police Anniversary celebrated
Over 400 staff gathered in the firearms range on Friday 1 September, to celebrate the?founding of the New Zealand Police.
At the parade the Police Minister gave an address to staff and unveiled a copy of the proclamation from the then Minister of Defence John Ballance to Governor Jervois seeking royal assent to the Police Force Act, which came into effect on 1?September?1886.
The proclamation, which dates back to 1886, was discovered by Joe Franklin in 1978 in the basement of an old police station. However, it was in storage and only rediscovered this year in the New Zealand Police Museum’s archives. Collection Officer Sophie Giddens explains, “as our collection remains largely unaccessioned it means that a lot of Police treasures remain unknown. It was lucky we decided to work on that particular storage area right before the Police anniversary.” A copy of the 1886 proclamation is on display at the Police College reception, while the original copy is now stored in a safe within the museum.
25th Anniversary of The Royal New Zealand Police College - Open Day
Earlier this year The Royal New Zealand Police College celebrated 25?years at the current site in Porirua. The celebrations climaxed with the open day on Saturday 1 April, which saw a huge crowd at the College, ensuring the 10/8 Café and other food stalls did a roaring trade.
The Police Museum was home to police dog puppies on the day, counted 2,252 visitors through its doors, nearly three times its previous open day record, while 4,369 were counted entering the displays in the gymnasium. “The police dog puppies were very popular and so were our soft toy police dogs!” said Collection Officer Sophie Giddens.
The drug dog and forensic displays were so popular a half-hour queue built up during the afternoon. Meanwhile people packed around the sports field to see the General Purpose Dogs demonstrate their obedience and agility.
The crowd was entertained with skits showing how police dogs are used operationally. Following this, the AOS arrived by helicopter to demonstrate how the Police respond to armed incidents.
Along with children’s TV show What Now, which spent the morning at the open day, a big hit with kids was the tightly choreographed display by 20 police motorcyclists and the performance by the Police Pipe Band where the children were invited to take a closer look as the pipe band played.
The arrival of a group protesting in support of Louise Nicholas was moved on by College staff with the support of several members of the public, who expressed anger that the protestors had chosen a family occasion for their protest.
However, feedback was overwhelmingly positive and a letter from Acting Commissioner Steve Long congratulated College staff on the very high standard of the three anniversary events, acknowledging that the work put into organising them was well above and beyond everyone’s normal duties, but that the public relations outcomes will be immeasurable.
“These events have continued to demonstrate your ongoing pride in New Zealand Police ... thanks for a wonderful experience.”
A thank you email was sent via the Police website... “I want to say a big thank you for the police open day - I really enjoyed it. From Jack, 3?yrs old.”
The next open day is scheduled for February 2008 to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the New Zealand Police Museum and to close the International Police Museum Conference to be held at the College.
Vintage vehicle rolled out for anniversary
A vehicle from a bygone era was on display at the NZ Police Dog Section’s 50th anniversary - a 1965 Holden Ute fashioned into one of the country’s first police dog vans.
“This van was modified specially to fill the growing needs of the Police Dog Section. It is no doubt the first of its kind,” says NZ Police Museum Manager, Kamaya Yates.
“It was probably used to carry prisoners before it took on a new life as a police dog van.”
As part of the Dog Section’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the vehicle was transported between Auckland and Trentham under the watchful eyes of Owen Knowles and Ken Adams from Car Haulaways Ltd.
Last year, the Police Museum transferred its vehicle collection to Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) on long-term loan. However, the vehicles are available for use at police request.
A 1929 Model T paddy wagon, a 1950s Humber Super Snipe and a 1946 Ford Coupe are just some of the vintage vehicles available from MOTAT for police events.
‘Massey’s Cossacks’ storm 1913 Strike exhibition
Police museum staff dressed as 20th century constables for the opening of the 1913 Strike exhibition at the Museum of City and Sea in Wellington in August. The exhibition details a waterfront battle between police and striking wharf workers.
The three-week strike, which effectively put a stranglehold on cargo transport and choked the Wellington harbour with ships laden with goods, prompted the Massey government to employ 1,500 farmers and civilian volunteers as ‘special constables’.
The special constables, who quickly became known as Massey’s Cossacks, were each issued with an armband, a regulation baton and a lapel badge and had all the powers of a regular police officer. Unfortunately, the police ran out of batons so many special officers bought their own or fashioned them from wheelbarrow spokes or axe handles.
NZ Police Museum Manager Kamaya Yates says the employment of temporary const