Commissioner of Police
Commissioner of Police
Andrew Coster became Commissioner of Police on 3 April 2020 and since then has led significant policing developments and initiatives, such as a review of frontline safety and the introduction of a new tactical response model, as well as research into how Police can ensure it is delivering policing that is fair and equitable for all our communities.
Throughout this time he has also led Police’s COVID-19 response, with a focus on balancing reassurance, engagement and enforcement to help prevent the spread of the virus, and he is overseeing a major expansion of Te Pae Oranga (community panels) that seeks to keep low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system.
In 2020 Commissioner Coster introduced three new priorities to the New Zealand Police: Be first, then do (strengthening how and who we are as an organisation); Deliver the services New Zealanders expect and deserve (understanding and providing what the public want from their police); and focused prevention through partnerships (focused police effort and working with others to achieve better outcomes).
In 2021 Commissioner Coster launched an Organised Crime Strategy to address organised crime, its social drivers and the harm it causes. This strategy has seen a national operation underway that is targeting firearms-related violence by gangs and organised crime groups. Operation Tauwhiro is successfully removing firearms from criminals and preventing them from getting firearms in the first place.
Commissioner Coster’s police career spans over 24 years and has a strong history of accomplishments following his graduation from Police College in 1997, including serving in frontline and investigative roles in Counties Manukau and Auckland.
Before being appointed as Commissioner, he was acting Deputy Commissioner: Strategy & Partnerships. In the period immediately after the tragic terror events in Christchurch, he oversaw the development of the Government’s firearms reforms, including the ban on semi-automatic firearms.
Commissioner Coster has worked in a variety of Police leadership roles that have taken him around New Zealand, including Area Commander in Auckland City Central and District Commander for the Southern Police District.
He was appointed Assistant Commissioner, Strategy and Transformation in 2015, providing leadership and co-ordination for Police’s largest IT project of the decade – the replacement of the organisation’s HR and payroll system. He also spent some time as acting Deputy Commissioner: Resource Management.
Commissioner Coster has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Auckland and a Master of Public Management from Victoria University of Wellington. He has been a Solicitor in the Office of the Crown Solicitor in Auckland, and was seconded to the Ministry of Justice as Deputy Chief Executive in 2016. At the Ministry he led the development of a five-year plan to modernise courts and tribunals, before returning to Police.