Wednesday, 23 May 2007 - 11:02am |
National News

Life ambition fulfilled as 'New Cops' graduate from Police College

5 min read

Growing up in South Africa Grainne Scott had always dreamed of joining the Police but felt it would remain just that - a dream.

This week, after an eight-month recruitment process and 19 weeks at The Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua, Constable Scott will graduate top of her wing to start duty next week as a probationary constable in Christchurch.

Constable Scott has a BA (Hons) in hospitality management and has lived in New Zealand for eight years after an 'OE' of high adventure in the Australian outback. She is a member of the New Zealand Women's Lacrosse Team, which will take part in the Australian National Championships in July.

Seventy-six new police officers will graduate from The Royal New Zealand Police College this Thursday in Wing 239. The wing's patron is Naida Glavish, a prominent Maori leader.

The graduates of Wing 239 come from an interesting array of backgrounds ranging from a dispensing optician to a former member of Sweden's Police. The wing includes many talented sports people who have represented their region or country in sports as diverse as BMX racing and ice hockey. Also among them are recruits with tertiary qualifications in history, film, criminology, graphic design, Maori studies and performing arts to name a few.

Three examples are Constables Sonya Burns, Peter Furjes and Megan Cooke. Sonya entered the New Zealand School of Dance at the age of 19, where she majored in contemporary and modern dance before becoming an international fashion model and later dancing with New Zealand's Black Grace dance company. "The course has been really hard, but I have loved it," says Sonja who admits to feeling a little scared, although excited and confident of her abilities, when she takes up her posting in Mt Wellington next week.

Former Chief Petty Officer with the NZ Navy Constable Peter Furjes ended a 23-year naval career to work alongside "like-minded people" and be closer to family in his home town of Levin. Although the fitness requirement of the recruiting process was not a problem for Peter, he says he was constantly challenged by the 'full-on' nature of the course, but also found it a lot of fun and is full of praise for the staff at the Police College.

Constable Megan Cooke spent five years alternating between Sweden and Canada, operating sled-dog teams both in the tourist industry and for sport. Responsible for the health and welfare of a team of 52 huskies, Megan took groups of tourists on short sight-seeing trips and camping tours of up to 10 days. She also crewed on 1,000km sled races.

During their 19-weeks at the Police College, the men and women of wing 239 have benefited from valuable field experience. In February, 20 recruits assisted with door-to-door canvassing of over 200 homes in Paraparaumu Beach following an arson at Kenakena School.

In March, the wing assisted with an operation targeting safety issues associated with high numbers of boy racers converging in Lower Hutt. And in April, the recruits helped to canvass the Upper Hutt community after a man was killed in a stabbing incident arising from an attempted robbery involving drugs.

The graduation will take place at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Thursday 24 May at 2:00pm and will be attended by Commissioner Howard Broad.

  • 76 recruits will graduate - 49 males and 27 females  • The average age of wing members is 29 (the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 46)

To find out more about joining the Police phone 0800 NEW COPS (639 2677) or visit


District postings:

Northland - Kerikeri (1), Whangarei (4)

Waitemata - Henderson (3), North Shore Policing Centre (3), Orewa (2)

Auckland City - Auckland Central (4), Mt Wellington (3), Eastern Patrol Group (2)

Counties Manukau - Manurewa (3), Otahuhu (1), Papakura (1), Pukekohe (1)

Waikato - Hamilton (6), Huntly (1)

Bay of Plenty - Rotorua (3), Tauranga (4), Whakatane (1)

Eastern - Hawke's Bay (2), Gisborne (3)

Central - Hawera (1), Wanganui (2), Palmerston North (3), Levin (2)

Wellington - Masterton (1), Lower Hutt (1), Wellington (4), Traffic Alcohol Group (2)

Tasman - Nelson (2), Blenheim (1)

Canterbury - Christchurch (6)

Southern - Dunedin (1), Invercargill (1), Oamaru (1)


Wing 239 prize winners:

  • The Minister's Prize for First in Wing will be awarded to Constable Grainne SCOTT posted to Christchurch.

Constable Scott will also be awarded the ERICSSON Practical Prize (Overall winner for practical assessments, file preparation and fingerprinting) and the Driver Training Award.

  • The Commissioner's Prize for Second in Wing will be awarded to Constable Shelley MARSHALL posted to Palmerston North.

Constable Marshall will also be awarded the International Police Association Academic Prize (for overall academic achievement).

  • The Patron's Prize for Third in Wing will be awarded to Constable Peter KERSOPP posted to Mt Wellington.

  • The HOLDEN Tactical Skills and Safety Prize (overall winner in defensive tactics, firearms and driving) will be awarded to Constable Calum GRANT posted to Hamilton.

  • The Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award will be awarded to Constable Michael KAUKAU posted to Hamilton

  • The Meltzer Prize for Weapon Training will be awarded to Constable Stephen ALLCUTT posted to Rotorua

Police Association prizes for section achievement:

This prize is awarded to an individual from each section who, in the collective view of the members of the section and the wing instructors, made the greatest contribution to the overall success of the team.

Section One Constable Karen BROAD posted to Wellington Traffic Alcohol Group

Section Two Constable Sene FIDOW posted to Gisborne

Section Three Constable Karina GARCZYNSKI posted to Auckland Central

Section Four Constable Dylan ROSS posted to Christchurch


Wing Patron: Naida Glavish

Naida Glavish, of Ngati Whatua iwi, has spent her whole life campaigning for her people, advising and guiding many groups and organisations in their service to Maori. She is a Justice of the Peace, the Chief Tikanga Advisor to the Auckland District Health Board, Commissioner with the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, and Chairperson of Te Rununga o Ngati Whatua.

Naida grew up beside the Kaipara Harbour, speaking only Maori and Croatian until she started school. Working in the Helensville telephone exchange, it was her natural practice to greet callers with "Kia ora", but on moving to the Auckland toll exchange in 1984, her supervisor insisted she use only formal English greetings. When Naida refused what she saw as an unreasonable demand, she was demoted and the issue sparked widespread public debate.

Today Naida is a valued member of the Auckland City Police District Advisory Group, advising on matters relating to Maori. She has also worked to improve understanding between Maori and community service providers, for example by establishing protocols with the Police, Coroners and Pathologists for the use of whanau rooms at Forensic Pathology Services at Auckland Hospital.


For more information or to attend the graduation please contact:

Katrina Graham, Acting Communications Adviser - 04 238 3572 or 0274 419 216