Commissioner, Executive and District Commanders

The chief executive of Police is known as the Commissioner and is appointed by the Governor General. Mike Bush (MNZM) is the current Commissioner of New Zealand Police. The Commissioner of Police is accountable to the Minister of Police for the administration of police services, but acts independently in carrying out law enforcement decisions.

Nationally we have 12 districts, which are administered from Police National Headquarters in Wellington, and a number of national service centres that provide administrative and specialised support, such as forensic services.

Each of the 12 districts have a District Commander and a team of Area Commanders who manage the day-to-day operations. You can find a list of these commanders on the district pages.

  • Commissioner of Police

    Mike Bush MNZM

    Mike Bush has been the Commissioner of New Zealand Police since April 2014. He was initially appointed for a three year term, and in 2017 was reappointed until 2020.

    Mike joined Police in 1978 and has held a range of high-profile national and international posts.

    As Commissioner, he has taken a highly visible leadership role around work to improve Police’s diversity, inclusiveness and overall culture. This has included adding Empathy and Valuing Diversity to Police’s core values and continuing Police’s efforts to make the cultural changes required following the 2007 Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct.

    As well as being a Champion for Change for Global Women and supporting the recruitment, development and retention of female staff, Mike is a White Ribbon Ambassador and is committed to addressing the harm caused in our communities by family violence.

    Mike led NZ Police’s Policing Excellence change transformation programme and the successful implementation of the Prevention First operating model, which received the Prime Minister’s IPANZ award for public sector excellence in 2014.

    At the time of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, Mike was New Zealand Police’s Liaison Officer for South East Asia, based in Bangkok. He was the first New Zealand official on the scene at the devastated Phuket, and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for his work following the disaster.

    Mike Bush MNZM (Commissioner of Police)
  • Deputy Commissioner: National Operations

    Mike Clement

    Mike Clement was appointed Deputy Commissioner National Operations in October 2014.

    He joined Police in 1978 as a cadet. His roles have included work in the undercover programme; on major investigations; on Operation Austin, which investigated historical sexual allegations against former and serving police officers; as Western Bay of Plenty Area Commander and Auckland City District Commander.

    Mike’s current role includes responsibility for International and National Security, Prevention, Road Policing, Response and Operations, and Investigations, including organised crime. He chairs a multi-agency governance group which has developed a transnational organised crime strategy for New Zealand.

    He leads Police’s response to firearms reform following the 15 March attacks, including executive oversight for the buy-back of newly prohibited firearms which concludes in late December 2019.

    He is also the executive lead for the 2021 APEC and America’s Cup events in New Zealand.

    Mike has served overseas, including a UN mission in Jamaica, a homicide investigation in the Solomon Islands, and capacity-building in the Pacific.

    Mike Clement
  • Deputy Commissioner: Māori, Pacific & Ethnic Services

    Wallace Haumaha QSM, ONZM

    Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha has extensive experience in strategic, operational and tactical policing, relating to the prevention of offending and victimisation of Māori, Pacific & Ethnic people.

    He has a proven track record of producing extraordinary results, acknowledged with the Queens Service Medal in 1998 for services to the community while a member of the Criminal Investigation Branch, and Officer in Charge of Community Policing. He was awarded the Police Commissioner’s Commendation for establishing the first Memorandum of Understanding between Police and 14 major Iwi groups in Bay of Plenty District in 2000 - an historic and significant event which marked the beginning of a relationship and partnership model that is now embedded into the structure of policing.

    He was also awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation for dedication to duty and leading the largest Māori protest Hïkoi in history - from Northland to Wellington - without incident or arrest. As a consequence, he secured the lasting trust and confidence of Māori activists, a relationship that has had a significant impact on the management of Waitangi Day at Te Tii Marae since 2004.

    Wally’s work has been widely recognised, locally and internationally, for engaging with diverse communities. He has been awarded prizes for innovation by the Institute of Public Administration of NZ and has seen Police named top public sector agency for Super Diversity. He continues to lead the development of major policy programmes such as The Turning of the Tide Whanau Ora Strategy, The Justice Sector Māori Outcomes Strategy, Iwi Justice Panels, the National Sponsor for Alternate Resolutions, the Ethnic & Pacific Peoples Strategy and National Māori Wardens Project.

    He has led work to build the cultural capability of Police across all districts and has driven the implementation of the restorative justice initiative Te Pae Oranga, formerly known as Iwi Community Panels. 

    In addition Wally was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017 for services to NZ Police and Māori, Pacific and ethnic communities.

    On 3 June 2018 Wally was appointed to the position of Statutory Deputy Commissioner. This is a statutory appointment, made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. He has been appointed for five years.

    Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha QSM, ONZM
  • Deputy Commissioner: District Operations

    John Tims

    John Tims joined Police on 24 September 1984. After graduating from The Royal New Zealand Police College, he was transferred to Otahuhu Police Station before joining the Criminal Investigation Branch in 1987. He worked across all ranks in the CIB and uniform branch but specialised in investigations for 22 years.

    In his role as Counties Manukau District Manager of Investigations, he was responsible for the strategic and operational direction of serious and volume crime investigations within the district. He had responsibility for Crime Services including the Major Crime Team, Organised Crime Team, Financial Investigation Unit, Source Handling Unit and the 24/7 Crime Squad. He also had responsibility for the Case Management Group, which included the File Management Centre, Public Counter, Investigation Support Unit, Records, SOCOs and CSAs.

    A career highlight for John was the development and opening of the Multi Agency Centre, Te Pou Herenga Waka. This centre was designed to use partnerships to provide a first-class service to child and adult victims of sexual and physical abuse.

    In November 2011 John was promoted to District Commander: Counties Manukau, a district is renowned for its innovation, where New Zealand Police’s operating strategy ‘Prevention First’ was initially piloted ahead of the national rollout. Along with Prevention First, the Youth Crime Action Plan was a priority with its focus on stopping problems before they develop and putting systems in place to prevent re-offending. He was also heavily involved in the development and implementation of the joined up agency response to family violence, Whangaia Ngā Pa Harakeke, and other Iwi-partnership related kaupapa.

    John was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in June 2017 and brought together a work programme to embed Tāmaki Makaurau as the identity for the three Auckland Districts. Tāmaki Makaurau represents the intent of the District Commanders to draw together the collective capability of the three separate districts and deploy in a more integrated manner to achieve improved outcomes for the communities.

    In June 2018 John was promoted to Deputy Commissioner: District Operations where he works with districts to deliver better performance outcomes and support a range of initiatives that will modernise and transform our business.

    This forward-thinking approach is underpinned in our district staff through our values and our high-performing culture, both of which support and enable our people to be the best they can be and drive us toward being the safest country.

    John Tims
  • Deputy Chief Executive: People & Capability

    Kaye Ryan

    Kaye began her career with Police in 1991 and was appointed to her Deputy Chief Executive role in 2015. She is Police’s principal adviser on People matters.

    Kaye has worked in a number of roles and locations since she started working with Police, including the Central Communications Centre and the Kapiti Watchhouse, before moving to Police National Headquarters where she has held a variety of positions and leadership roles within the Human Resources/People group.

    Kaye has a Bachelor of Commerce from Victoria University.

    Kaye Ryan
  • Deputy Chief Executive: Media and Communications

    Jane Archibald

    Jane joined Police in 2007 and has held various senior media advisor and communications advisor roles, including National Manager Strategic Communications. In June 2019, Jane was appointed Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) Media and Communications, having acted in that role since February 2018.

    Jane set the direction of a recruitment marketing campaign that has resulted in record numbers of applicants, and led the campaign around the 105 non-emergency number launch. She also drove the project to refresh Police signage, which has brought clarity and nationwide consistency to Police stations and other property.

    Jane has implemented a policy of digital first communications using multiple social media channels. As a result, Police has the largest social media audience of any Government agency, and Police’s use of social media has become recognised as a benchmark for the sector.

    Jane’s team has conveyed NZ Police’s overarching “Our Business” strategy in a way that successfully contributes to its vision and goals.

    Jane Archibald
  • Deputy Chief Executive: Service Delivery

    R Mark Evans OBE

    Mark has been a member of the Police Executive since June 2011. In 2014 he was appointed as Deputy Chief Executive Strategy and in 2018 as Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery.

    As head of Service Delivery, Mark is responsible for several key areas including Police’s property portfolio, fleet, information technology, performance insights, intelligence, deployment and the Evidence-Based Policing Centre. He is also the executive lead for the service delivery transformation programme which includes introduction of a single non-emergency number and online crime reporting.

    Before coming to New Zealand in 2007, he was the Director of Analytical Services for the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

    Mark earned an OBE for services to policing in 2006. He is a frequent contributor to international intelligence teaching and training.

    R Mark Evans
  • Deputy Chief Executive: Finance

    John Bole

    The Deputy Chief Executive Finance has responsibility for the finance function, which entails the management of $1.6 billion operating expenditure and $100 million capital expenditure.

    John has an extensive career in senior finance roles, including being Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Corrections, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager Retail of Contact Energy, Group Manager Finance for the Airways Corporation and Manager Financial Operations for Telecom New Zealand.

    John joined Police in June 2011.

    John Bole (Deputy Chief Executive Finance)
  • Deputy Commissioner: Strategy & Partnerships (acting)

    Andy Coster

    Andy has served in New Zealand Police since 1996. He has held a range of frontline, investigative and management roles across several policing districts. Previous roles include Auckland Central Area Commander, Southern District Commander and Assistant Commissioner Strategy and Transformation.

    In 2016, Andy was seconded to the Ministry of Justice as Deputy Chief Executive, where he led the development of a five year plan to modernise courts and tribunals.

    Andy has a Bachelor of Law (Honours) from the University of Auckland and a Master of Public Management from Victoria University of Wellington.

    Andy is currently acting Deputy Commissioner: Strategy & Partnerships while Audrey Sonerson is on secondment to MFAT.

    Andy Coster
  • Chief of Staff

    Cassandra Anderson

    Cassandra joined Police in 2007. She was appointed as the Chief of Staff in 2017 and is a member of the Police Executive Leadership Board.

    She has held a range of roles in Police, including in the Policy Group, the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand, as the Private Secretary to the Minister of Police and as Chief Adviser. Her background is largely in policy, strategy, legislation, law enforcement, social and justice issues.

    Cassandra has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Māori Resource Management (Honours), a Bachelor of Laws and an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Victoria University in Wellington.

    Cassandra Anderson
  • Assistant Commissioner: APEC [temp portfolio]

    Mike Rusbatch

    Assistant Commissioner Mike Rusbatch has taken up the role of Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for forthcoming major operations including APEC and the America's Cup.

    Mike was appointed in 2013 after serving as District Commander Wellington. He joined Police in 1982 and has held roles including District Commander Northland; Executive Officer, Domestic and External Security Group, DPMC; Area Commander and Policing Development Manager. He has worked in Wellington, Counties Manukau and Northland districts.

    He was deployed to Timor-Leste and has been a member of the Anti-Terrorist Squad and a District AOS Commander. Mike holds a Bachelor of Business Studies.

    Mike Rusbatch
  • Assistant Commissioner: Road Policing and Prevention

    Sandra Venables

    Sandra joined Police in 1994 and worked in a number of frontline policing roles in metropolitan and rural areas in Waikato and Northland districts, including Hamilton City, Hamilton East, Kaitaia and the Coromandel Peninsula.

    She was Northland Family Violence Coordinator and sub-Area Manager for Thames Coromandel before being promoted to Inspector in 2010 and moving to Whakatāne as Area Commander Eastern Bay of Plenty.

    During this time she also relieved as Policing Development Manager and Road Policing Manager in Northland, Deployment Manager in Hamilton and National Manager for Police Conduct at Police National Headquarters in Wellington.

    In 2014 she was promoted to Superintendent and moved to Eastern District as District Commander, just the second woman to be given a District Command role.

    In the same year she was deployed to Turkey as a Security Liaison officer for the Gallipoli commemorations, which she counts as a career highlight.

    In taking her current role in 2017, Sandra became the first female officer promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner.

    Sandra Venables
  • Assistant Commissioner: Districts

    Bill Searle

    Bill joined New Zealand Police in October 1982 and has worked in various operational and supervisory roles in General Duties (GDB) and Criminal Investigation (CIB) in Auckland.

    In 2001 Bill started as the Policing Development Manager in Hamilton before being promoted to Superintendent in 2005 and transferring to Wellington to undertake the role as the staff officer to the Deputy Commissioner of Resource Management at Police National Headquarters.

    In 2007 Bill was appointed to a new role as the National Manager of Community Policing, then in 2008 made the move back to the Auckland area as the District Commander of Waitematā District.

    In September 2016 he was promoted to the role of Assistant Commissioner Prevention based in Police National Headquarters.

    Bill has a Bachelor of Business Studies degree, majoring in human resource management. He also has a postgraduate certificate in Executive Leadership through the Australian Institute of Police Management.

    Bill Searle
  • Assistant Commissioner: Serious & Organised Crime

    Richard Chambers

    Richard Chambers has served in New Zealand Police since 1996, starting his policing career as a Constable in Avondale, Auckland.

    Richard has held a wide range of frontline roles and is a qualified detective. He also holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Commerce.

    One of Richard’s career highlights was leading the project that introduced mobile devices to frontline staff. This important shift in technology has enabled Police to spend more time in the community, carrying out a wide range of tasks without needing to head back to the station.

    Through Richard’s policing career he has worked throughout New Zealand. His experience includes working as District Commander in Wellington, Tasman, Southern and Auckland City districts. In Auckland he led local policing of Trans-Pacific Partnership discussions and US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the city.

    Richard has particularly enjoyed working alongside very talented, motivated and professional people throughout New Zealand Police.

    Richard Chambers
  • Assistant Commissioner: International & National Security

    Michael Pannett MNZM

    Mike was appointed to his position in September 2016, based in Police National Headquarters, Wellington. He was previously the Southern District Commander based in Dunedin, and before that was the New Zealand Police Liaison Officer to the United States of America, Canada, Central and South America, based in the New Zealand Embassy, Washington DC.

    Between 2011 and 2015 Mike was a member of the International Chiefs of Police (IACP) Committee on Terrorism, Committee on Organised Crime and International Policing Division Steering Committee (Advisory Committee). In 2013, 2014 and 2015 Mike was the International Judge on the selection panel of the IACP International Police Officer of the Year. Mike was formally the Chairperson of the Washington DC Liaison Officers Association. In August 2014 Mike completed the Senior Executives in National and International Security Program at Harvard University, John F Kennedy School of Government.

    Between 2009 and 2011 Mike was the Manager Intelligence Operations (Deputy Director Intelligence) for New Zealand Police. In this role he was responsible for the management of the Police National Intelligence Centre and facilitating intelligence led operational activities.

    Mike has played significant roles in wide variety of international, national and district crime operations during his 36-year career, including being recognised for more than 25 years’ service to New Zealand Police's largest annual operational event, Operation Waitangi.

    In 2010 Mike was recognised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to New Zealand Police when he was invested as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM). A significant part of this recognition related to Mike's 25 years’ experience in the investigation of serious and organised crime, national security and intelligence.

    Michael Pannett
  • Assistant Commissioner: Service

    Jevon McSkimming

    Assistant Commissioner Jevon McSkimming is in charge of Service Delivery for New Zealand Police, and is responsible for the organisation's Infrastructure environment and Service Delivery. Prior to this he was the Chief Information Officer where he managed ICT Services for New Zealand Police.

    Jevon joined Police in 1996 after completing his studies in 1995. He has led substantial change management in large, complex departments and has delivered results and cost savings across Police.

    Starting his career in Auckland he completed front-line, Communications and Maritime roles before shifting to the far south where he took on a range of challenges as a rural and provincial sole charge officer.

    An opportunity to re-write rural officers' work terms and conditions saw him move to Wellington and was followed by transfer to the Royal New Zealand Police College to run the promotion courses for Sergeant and Senior Sergeant ranks. As Deployment Manager for Wellington District, Jevon and his team played a key role in the model and process design for the New Zealand Police Prevention First Strategy.

    With a young family to support Jevon's love of racing motorbikes has taken a break, but he is still a keen pilot.

    Jevon McSkimming
  • Executive Director: Strategy & Transformation

    Angela Brazier

    Angela joined New Zealand Police in 2004. She was appointed to the role of Executive Director Strategy & Transformation in 2016.

    In early 2018 Angela was asked to lead New Zealand Police’s Transformation Programme ‘Policing 2021’. As Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for the Transformation Programme, Angela reports to the Commissioner for her transformation responsibilities.

    Angela has worked in a number of different roles and functions across Police including Business Services Manager at The Royal New Zealand Police College, National Business Manager within the Finance Group, Director Strategic Integration and Director Performance and Insights (Acting) within the Strategy Group.

    Angela has a Bachelor of Applied Management degree, majoring in strategy and organisational change. She also has a postgraduate certificate in Executive Leadership through the Australian Institute of Police Management.

    Angela Brazier
  • Executive Director: Finance

    Sharon Hart

    Sharon Hart joined Police in 2013 and is the Executive Director of Finance.

    Sharon has an extensive career in accounting in the UK, Middle East and New Zealand. Previous roles include Financial Controller for Kiwibank and Finance Manager for the Royal Hospital School, a UK charity.

    Prior to moving to New Zealand, Sharon spent seven years working for the Multinational Force and Observers, a peacekeeping mission, based on the border between Egypt and Israel. Sharon has also led teams of volunteers on charity expeditions overseas, with Raleigh International, to Belize and Australia.

    Sharon is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK.

    Sharon Hart
  • Assistant Commissioner: Districts

    Lauano Sue Schwalger

    Sue holds the Samoan Alii title of Lauano from the village of Patamea in Savaii, which was bestowed upon her in July 2018.

    Sue joined Police in 1983 in Hastings, where she was one of only three female officers. Sue left New Zealand Police when she had children and rejoined in 1991, holding a variety of frontline and enquiry roles in the Waikato.

    Sue moved to Counties Manukau in 1999 when she joined the CIB, developing her skills investigating homicides, child abuse, and other serious violence and organised crime offences.

    In 2008 Sue was promoted to Detective Inspector in Central District as the first female District Crime Manager. Her responsibilities included the strategic and operational oversight of all serious crime investigations covering six Area CIB offices across the district. 

    Sue worked as Area Commander Whanganui before she was promoted to Superintendent in 2012, taking up the role of National Manager: Professional Conduct. During this time Sue developed a prevention first mindset for internal investigations and worked closely with the IPCA. Sue was also instrumental in setting up the Women's Advisory Network, which was launched by Commissioner Bush in 2014. 

    Sue relieved as District Commander Wellington before being appointed to District Commander Central District in 2014, and also relieved as Assistant Commissioner: Investigations and International. Sue has held portfolio positons on the National Tenders Board, Property Governance Group, Commission of Inquiry Governance Group, and Women's Advisory Network Governance Group. 

    In November 2018, Sue was appointed Assistant Commissioner Districts and has operational oversight of six of the twelve districts.  She also holds the Performance portfolio.

    Lauano Sue Schwalger
  • Assistant Commissioner: Response and Operations

    Tusha Penny

    Since joining the New Zealand Police in 1992, Tusha has worked in both provincial and metropolitan areas.  A significant part of her career has been spent in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) investigating serious crimes including lead roles in several high profile homicides.   She has also worked as a mentor in Tonga assisting to establish family violence units and was part of the New Zealand Police contingent that assisted with the Tongan riots in 2006.

    Tusha has been pivotal in the change management Police have gone through over recent years in respect of child protection and sexual violence.  She was critical in identifying and bringing attention to the systemic failure of Police to address child abuse investigations in the Wairarapa.    She led the implementation of a multi-agency centre in Wellington known as "Koru House" which was significant in addressing a lot of the issues found in Operation Hope (the long term investigation of historic child abuse files).   Tusha was the first officer to take on the role of National Manager - Child Protection and Sexual Violence in 2011 where she spearheaded a national change management programme to accelerate the Police response to the Commission of Inquiry.

    From 2014 Tusha held the role of National Manager: Prevention based at Police National Headquarters in Wellington, working on a major change programme within the Family and Sexual Violence area. This gave her responsibility for family harm, victims and vulnerable whanau initiatives across the country. 

    In November 2016 Tusha she was selected to become the District Commander of Waitemata.  She is a powerful advocate for enabling her management team and staff to lead with passion, heart and drive both in their core roles and in the leading of Our Business.  

    Tusha was named as a Finalist in the 2016 Westpac Women of Influence Awards – an achievement not only because of the award status, but because she was nominated by female Inspectors within her Senior Leadership Team.

    Her Iwi is Ngati Porou and she is the first Maori female District Commander in New Zealand Police. Tusha is married with two teenaged children.

    Tusha Penny