Wednesday, 28 May 2008 - 4:42pm |
National News

Great result for Southern recruiting

3 min read

Fifty-six new police officers will graduate from The Royal New Zealand Police College tomorrow in Wing 249. Their wing patron is British High Commissioner His Excellency George Fergusson.

In a coup for Southern District, the two top place-getters in this wing were recruited from that Queenstown and Dunedin.

Constable James Keene, who is posted to North Shore, is placed First in Wing as well as beng overall top achiever in the three academic exams. He completed a science degree before going on his OE to London. On returning to New Zealand for a year, James was working as a green keeper in Queenstown when he answered the policing call. Attracted to the job by the opportunity to help people and to make a difference in his community, James says the huge variety of career opportunities NZ Police is able to offer is also a big drawcard. Although he found the workload at the College challenging, James says the hard work was offset by a good balance of practical learning, particularly role-playing, driver training and defensive tactics.

Constable Kate Saxton, who describes herself as a 'born-and -bred' Dunedinite, completed a BA in Japanese and a Bachelor of Laws before deciding that the Police was where she wanted to be. While a law student, Kate went on a 'ridealong' with Dunedin police. Following that experience, she entered the recruitment programme as soon as she graduated. Kate says of her training programme "every day was exciting" and she has enjoyed all aspects of the course. Kate is placed second in the Wing and has also won the Ericsson practical prize for practical assessments, files and fingerprinting.

Constable Sean Hatwell is originally from Tauranga but is thrilled to be returning to Auckland after graduation. With becoming a police officer firmly in his sights, Sean completed a degree in psychology and sociology as a means of gaining the experience and maturity he believed was vital to joining NZ Police. Returning to his district partway through the course for station duty confirmed his choice and he has particularly enjoyed the team atmosphere at the College, where he felt "everyone was on a journey together".

The graduation will take place at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Thursday 29 May 2008 at 2:00pm and will be attended by Commissioner Howard Broad.

  • 56 recruits will graduate - 42 males and 14 females  • The average age of wing members is 29 (the youngest is 19 and the oldest is 52)

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

District postings:

Northland - Dargaville (1)

Waitematâ - Henderson (3), North Shore Policing Centre (2)

Auckland City - Avondale (1), Mt Wellington (3), Eastern Area (1), Auckland Central (1)

Counties Manukau - Howick (5), Pukekohe (1), Otahuhu (2), Papakura (1)

Waikato - Hamilton (1), Huntly (1)

Bay of Plenty - Rotorua (1)

Eastern - Gisborne (3), Napier (1)

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

Wellington - Wellington (3), Traffic Alcohol Group (2), Masterton (1), Lower Hutt (4)

Tasman - Greymouth (1)

Canterbury - Christchurch (5), Timaru (1)

Southern - Dunedin (5), Invercargill (1), Queenstown (1)

Wing 249 prize winners:

  • The Minister's Prize for First in Wing will be awarded to Constable James KEENE, posted to North Shore.

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

  • The Commissioner's Prize for Second in Wing will be awarded to Constable Katherine SAXTON, posted to Dunedin.

Constable Saxton will also be awarded the ERICSSON Practical Prize for the overall winner of practical assessments, file preparation and fingerprinting.

  • The Patron's Prize for Third in Wing will be awarded to Constable Sean HATWELL, posted to Auckland, Eastern Area.

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

  • The Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award will be awarded to Constable Kelly JOYCE, posted to North Shore.

  • The Meltzer Prize for Weapon Training will be awarded to Constable Richard FOX, posted to Otahuhu.

  • The Driver Training Award will be presented to Constable Mitchel ALATALO, 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 Paul FRITH, posted to Dargaville

Section Two Constable Grant MARSHALL, posted to the Hawkes Bay

Section Three Constable Feleki UHRLE, posted to Wellington



For more information or media wishing to attend the graduation please contact:

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