Wednesday, 8 August 2007 - 3:32pm |
National News

Professional sportswomen turn cops

4 min read

Seventy-five new police officers will graduate from The Royal New Zealand Police College this Thursday in Wing 241. The wing's patron is highly respected Te Arawa kaumatua Mita Mohi, who is involved with the Mokoia Taiaha Wananga on Mokoia Island.

Top of wing:

Graduating top of the wing and also taking out two other practical prizes is 'born and bred' Wellingtonian Constable Nicola Bradshaw. The university paper, 'Policing in Criminal Justice', taken as part of her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, was the catalyst for Nicola joining the NZ Police and now she has future aspirations of joining the CIB. Nicola volunteers at the Wellington SPCA in her spare time, something she has been a bit short of during the full-on 19 week training course at The Royal New Zealand Police College.

Professional athletes:

Former 'pro' triathlete and member of the New Zealand cycling team competing on the professional circuit in Wisconsin last year, Constable Jo Ryder switched to long-distance running in her preparation for the physical competency test for joining the Police. Jo has competed twice in the Taupo ironman and also in Canada as with a best placing of 10th. While at the Police College, she entered and was placed second in the women's section of the Wellington Marathon in June. Jo is also a former primary school teacher and will be posted to Auckland Central Police Station.

Also graduating tomorrow is former Tall Fern Constable Gina Farmer. Gina played basketball professionally in Hungary from 2000 - 2004 and for the New Zealand team at the Sydney and Athens Olympics. Constable Farmer will be posted to Christchurch.

Policing in the family:

Joining her sister who is also a police officer in Taupo, will be Constable Belinda Westerman. Belinda has been running her own graphic design and marketing business in Taupo and enjoying the many sporting and outdoors opportunities the region has to offer but says the time has come to give something back to her community. Belinda's younger sister Katie has been a member of the NZ Police for seven years and Belinda is looking forward to the sisterly support she will give.

The graduation will take place at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Thursday 9 August at 2:00pm and will be attended by Commissioner Broad.

  • 75 recruits will graduate - 56 males and 19 females  • The average age of wing members is 28 (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 - Whangarei (6)

Waitematâ - Orewa (3), Henderson (5), North Shore Policing Centre (5)

Auckland City - Auckland Central (5), Mt Wellington (1), Balmoral (2), Eastern (1), Mt Wellington (1)

Counties Manukau - Manurewa (2), Otahuhu (3), Papakura (1), Pukekohe (2), Howick (2)

Waikato - Hamilton (3), Te Kuiti (1)

Bay of Plenty - Rotorua (1), Tauranga (2), Taupo (1)

Eastern - Napier (2), Hastings (3)

Central - Dannevirke (1)

Wellington - Masterton (1), Upper Hutt (1), Lower Hutt (3), Wellington (2), Porirua (1) TAG (2)

Tasman - Nelson (2)

Canterbury - Christchurch (6)

Southern - Dunedin (1), Invercargill (3)

Wing 241 prize winners:

  • The Minister's Prize for First in Wing will be awarded to Constable Nicola BRADSHAW posted to Wellington

Constable Bradshaw will also be awarded the ERICSSON Practical Prize (Overall winner for practical assessments, file preparation and fingerprinting) and the HOLDEN Tactical Skills and Safety Prize (overall winner in defensive tactics, firearms and driving).

  • The Commissioner's Prize for Second in Wing will be awarded to Constable Stephen McDAID posted to Henderson.

Constable McDaid 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 Michael KAYE posted to Napier.

  • The Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award will be awarded to Constable Eric CLARK posted to Lower Hutt.

  • The Meltzer Prize for Weapon Training will be awarded to Constable Clint FIRESON posted to North Shore Policing Centre.

  • The Driver Training Award will be awarded to Constable Luke VAUGHAN posted to Christchurch.

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 Eric CLARK posted to Lower Hutt

Section Two: Constable Clint FIRESON posted to North Shore Policing Centre

Section Three: Constable Kornelius MULLER posted to Masterton

Section Four: Constable Richard SIEBERT posted to Mt Wellington

Wing Patron: Mita Mohi

Mita Mohi (Te Arawa and Ngati Tuwharetoa) is one of Rotorua's most respected kaumatua. Well regarded as a Maori cultural authority he instills values of history, whakapapa, tikanga, self-respect, self-worth and respect for the environment in those he works with.

Mita believes education is one of the most important values anyone can give their family. He has been a role model, a father, a mentor and coach to thousands of young New Zealanders, including local celebrities Cliff Curtis and Temuera Morrison.

Mita has for over 25 years been heavily involved with the Mokoia Taiaha Wânanga on Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua. The wananga runs programmes for youth, adult offenders and other people from all walks of life, instructing them in Mau Rakau, the art of weaponry. Mau Rakau's fundamental values of self discipline, group discipline and honesty are able to be transferred into other parts of the participants' lives and these programmes have been extended to schools and prisons throughout the nation. Mita's courage and commitment as a leader has helped to reconnect young Maori in metropolitan areas with their roots. Since 1972, Mita has also been delivering Tikanga Maori motivational programmes in the national prison system.

Mita has served as a Rotorua District Councillor and as a member of the Maori Task Force Committee on the Hillary Commission. He became a Justice of the Peace in 1990 and was made MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to the community in 1995.


For more information or to attend the graduation please contact:

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