Wednesday, 20 August 2008 - 3:26pm |
National News

New Police graduates reflect growing diversity in NZ communities

5 min read

Seventy-six new police officers will graduate tomorrow in Wing 252 to embark on their new careers with NZ Police. Their Wing patron is former Silver Fern, Waimarama Taumaunu. (see below for more information)

The wing ranges in age from 18-44, and reflects the increasing ethnic diversity developing in the NZ Police and represented in the communities the organisation serves.

Among the new officers graduating tomorrow are people from all over the world, including Zimbabwe, Malaysia, Phillipines, Turkey, and the first Japanese national to join NZ Police as a sworn officer.

Constable James Loh came to New Zealand from MALAYSIA at the age of 14, attending school and university in Christchurch. He worked for YMCA in many roles from youth leader to rock-climbing instructor, before taking up a role as a security guard. In this capacity James had increasing contact with police officers and had reached a point in his life where he wanted a career with good future prospects. "Policing ties in well with my personal ethics," he says. Constable Loh will return to Christchurch.

Constable Nao Yoshimizu also immigrated here from JAPAN when he was 14. A club rugby trip with his father (and coach) three years earlier confirmed the family's desire to live in New Zealand. Although he did not speak English, mixing with classmates at Kelston Boys Grammar enabled him to learn quickly. Now at a point where he has lived equal amounts of time in New Zealand and Japan, he feels very positive about his future with NZ Police and says he will be concentrating on doing his best, "one day at a time." Constable Yoshimizu is posted to Auckland City.

Constable Phillemon Goto also settled in New Zealand after coming here on holiday with his wife. Phillemon previously taught Physical Education and Geography at secondary schools in ZIMBABWE, and on moving to New Zealand held various short term appointments before meeting a police officer at a soccer tournament. He attended a recruitment seminar in Christchurch and says from that point he was 'hooked'. In his early 40's Phillemon had to work hard to attain the necessary fitness levels, particularly in swimming. He has enjoyed the last 19 weeks of training and as a former teacher is full of praise for his instructors at the College who he says encourage the recruits to excel to their full ability. His favourite lessons have been in driver training. Constable Goto is posted to Christchurch.

The graduation will take place at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Thursday 21 August 2008 at 2:00pm and will be attended by Commissioner Howard Broad and Deputy Commissioners Provost and Pope.

  • 76 recruits will graduate - 61 males and 16 females  • The average age of wing members is 28 (the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 44)

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

District postings:

Northland - Kaitaia (1)

Waitematâ - Henderson (6), North Shore Policing Centre (5)

Auckland City - Auckland City (8)

Counties Manukau - Howick (4), Otahuhu (2), Papakura (2), Pukekohe (1), Manurewa (1)

Waikato - Hamilton (2), Morrinsville (2), Te Awamutu (1)

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

Eastern - Hawkes Bay (5)

Central - Palmerston North (1), New Plymouth (1), Wanganui (1)

Wellington - Wellington (5), Lower Hutt (3), Traffic Alcohol Group (2), Masterton (1), Porirua (1)

Tasman - Blenheim (1)

Canterbury - Christchurch (7), Timaru (2)

Southern - Invercargill (2), Gore (2)

Wing 252 prize winners:

  • The Minister's Prize for First in Wing will be awarded to Constable Christopher MURCOTT, posted to Gore. Constable Murcott has also won the ERICSSON Practical Prize for the overall winner of practical assessments, file preparation and fingerprinting.

  • The Commissioner's Prize for Second in Wing will be awarded to Constable Samuel BUCKLEY, posted to Lower Hutt. Constable Buckley 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 Isaac CARRINGTON, posted to Palmerston North.

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

  • The Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award will be awarded to Constable Brook ARMISHAW, posted to Invercargill. Constable Armishaw has also won a section prize.

  • The Meltzer Prize for Weapon Training will be awarded to Constable Brendon RILEY, posted to Timaru.

  • The Driver Training Award will be presented to Constable Laurence VAUTIER, posted to Wellington.

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 Brook ARMISHAW, posted to Invercargill

Section Two Constable Julia HAYWARD, posted to Howick

Section Three Constable David MEAR, posted to Rotorua

Section Four Constable Caleb WHITMORE, posted to Blenheim



Wing patron, Waimarama Taumaunu, MBE

Netball legend, Waimarama Taumaunu has been involved in the sport since her first rep team selection for the Canterbury Over 5-Foot primary schools representative team. She was selected for the Canterbury NPC team at age 15, followed by the New Zealand under-21 team, going on to join the Silver Ferns in 1981.

During this period, Waimarama and fellow team-member, Tracey Fear, were unrivalled as in-circle defenders. Her intimidating presence to shooters, and the ability to read and consequently 'snaffle' the cross-court pass, became her trade marks as she defended the goal circle. She was captain the Silver Ferns from 1989-91 and led the team to win the World Games in Germany in 1989.

Since retiring from play in 1991, Waimarama has taken on coaching roles both at club and provincial level, been involved in netball administration as a coaching coordinator, players' delegate and board member.

Waimarama, who is of Ngâti Porou and Ngai Tahu descent. She was a major force behind establishing the Maori Sports Awards.

In 1996 she was inducted into the NZ Sports Hall of Fame and in 2007, the Maori Sports Hall of Fame. She was made a member of the British Empire in 1992 for her services to sport.



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

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