How to apply for a vacancy

The following information relates to applications for Police employee positions in the New Zealand Police. If you’re looking for information about becoming a Police officer, or are a former NZ Police officer looking to rejoin, please visit

The public have high expectations of the service they get from New Zealand Police. We look for people from a wide range of backgrounds who demonstrate our core values and behaviours as these are essential to achieving our goals. To assess these values and behaviours we use several selection tools including structured interviews and pre-employment checks such as vetting and drug and alcohol testing.

At New Zealand Police recruitment is managed through our Talent Pathway Team. If you’ve found a role you’d like to apply for, check the advertisement to find the Talent Pathway Advisor responsible for managing the role. You can direct any questions you have straight to them or feel free to contact the team at

Before you apply, please take some time to read through our core values and competencies.

Applying for a vacancy

To be able to apply for a role in the New Zealand Police, you need to register your profile. Once this is complete you can view our current vacancies. You can apply for vacancies by completing an online application form and submitting a CV.

Complete the application form telling us why you are interested in the position and about your most relevant work experience. Make sure your CV clearly sets out how you meet the technical, behavioural and leadership capabilities set out in the job advertisement.


Applications submitted directly through the Government Jobs Website are no longer considered. Please visit our Career Opportunities section to search and apply for this position.

If you are an existing Police employee (excluding contractors) please apply through our internal careers site.

If you are an existing contractor working for Police, you must apply through the New Zealand Police Career Opportunities section and create a profile as an external candidate. Please do not include your QID.


If you are invited to interview, you will be asked questions that originate from New Zealand’s Police’s core competency framework. These will cover the technical, behavioral and leadership capabilities required in the role. You will be expected to provide specific examples and descriptions of situations where you have demonstrated the capability that the question is asking about.

The interview panel will ask questions to explore your example and help them establish a picture of your strengths and areas for development, and ultimately your ability or potential to perform in the role.

An interview with NZ Police will be a friendly, relaxed experience. You’re welcome to bring notes with you and refer to them during your interview.

If you wish to bring whānau or support people with you to interview please contact your Talent Pathway Advisor as soon as possible so we can discuss your requirements. Please note that you are responsible for making arrangements for whānau or support people to attend the interview and for meeting any costs associated with their attendance.

Pre-employment requirements and checks

If, after your interview, Police would further like to explore your suitability and potential to perform in the role, you may be requested to complete referee checks. These may be requested for multiple applicants and is not necessarily an indication you are the preferred applicant, rather it is an additional step in the recruitment process.

Typically, you will be asked for two referees, preferably one that is your current manager. If you prefer to use other referees, we will discuss your individual circumstances with you.

If you are the preferred applicant you will need to undergo some security checks.

  • Vetting
    This is a background check where we will review any information Police may hold on you, your partner, and your immediate family. The Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 does not apply for people applying for a permanent position with New Zealand Police, but does apply for partners and family members.

    If you are concerned about anything that will come up in this check regarding you, your partner or your family members, we encourage you to discuss it with the Talent Pathway Advisor as early as possible. Every situation is assessed on a case–by-case basis and being open and honest is the first step.
  • International vetting
    This is required for anyone who has resided in a country other than New Zealand for one year or more within the last five years. For all countries other than Australia, you are required to obtain a Police check from these countries yourself. The Talent Pathway Team can request a check from Australia on your behalf.
  • Drug and alcohol testing
    Staff wellbeing and public safety are the focus of the Police Drug and Alcohol Policy, which includes drug and alcohol testing across the organisation, with an emphasis on the health of our staff. All successful external applicants joining New Zealand Police are required to undergo pre-employment drug and alcohol testing. It will take the form of a breath test for alcohol and a urine screening test for drugs.

    Police will pay for initial testing, but in the event of a non-negative result and the applicant still wishes to proceed with their application, they will be responsible for any costs associated with further laboratory testing. A non-negative or confirmed positive result, or refusal to consent to testing, will result in the application not continuing. All information will be handled sensitively and limited to only those who need to know for the purposes of testing and application.

    For more details, have a look at our pre-employment drug and alcohol testing FAQs (PDF 1MB).
  • Professional conduct check
    Before confirmation of appointment a professional conduct check is required for all existing internal staff or external returning members of Police.

Work Rights

People entitled to work in New Zealand, and therefore any external applicant employed by New Zealand Police, are those who:

  • are New Zealand or Australian citizens (including people born in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau), or
  • have a New Zealand residence visa, or
  • have a New Zealand work visa or a condition on their New Zealand temporary visa showing they are allowed to work here.

The nature and duration of Work Visas held by applicants will be confirmed prior to arranging an offer of employment in either a permanent or fixed term position. The process for obtaining a Work Visa is explained on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Police Recruit requirements can be found on the NewCops website.