Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 3:33pm |
National News

New Police graduates find paradise

5 min read

Seventy-six new police officers will be the first wing to graduate under the new Policing Act which passed into law on 1 October 2008. Their Wing patron is Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy. (see below for more information)

Two of tomorrow's graduates are no strangers to policing but have made a significant lifestyle commitment in leaving South Africa to re-train in the NZ Police, leaving old methods behind and learning to police Kiwi-style.

After 12 years service with the Durban Metropolitan Police Department (DMPD), Constable Roelof Burger has come to New Zealand with his wife and children in search of 'paradise'. He's pretty sure they have found it. Durban Metropolitan, formerly the Durban City Police, was formed in 1856 and is the oldest police jurisdiction in South Africa. As it does not include a criminal investigation branch, Roelof thinks he would like to eventually aim towards CIB work.

Constable Ian Pitout, had been with the South African Police for 16 years, including 12 years as a dog handler. His wife is also a police officer. Ian's family will arrive in NZ later in the month and can't wait to begin their new life.

Both officers say that although the training here in New Zealand is perhaps not as stringent as they have previously experienced, they appreciated the mentoring and encouragement all recruits are given and the genuine support from instructors who obviously want their students to succeed. Having already spent a week 'on section' in their new districts, the men say their new teams were welcoming and helpful. However, five months away from their families, in Ian's case half a world away, has not been so easy.

Constable Burger is posted to Henderson in Waitematâ District and Constable Pitout to Mt Wellington in Auckland City.


The first sworn member of NZ Police to wear a turban will graduate tomorrow, demonstrating cooperation between NZ Police and the Sikh community.

The turban is an 'article of faith' that denotes a practising Sikh and in terms of a police officer wearing the turban, it upholds the right of freedom to practice one's religion.

Staff at the Royal New Zealand Police College worked with PNHQ staff and the Sikh Council of New Zealand to develop a new protocol to support police officers' rights to observe their religious practices on duty wherever practicable and in June this year Constable Amaninder Singh Sandhu was the first to put the new protocol into practice. Constable Sandhu is posted to the Downtown Station in Auckland City and is instantly recognisable in his distinctive navy turban with NZ Police insignia.


The graduation will take place at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Thursday 16 October 2008 at 2:00pm and will be attended by Commissioner Howard Broad and Deputy Commissioners Provost and Pope.

  • 76 recruits will graduate - 55 males and 21 females  • The average age of wing members is 27 (the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 50)

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

District postings:

NORTHLAND - Kaitaia (1), Dargaville (1), Kaikohe (1)

WAITEMATA - Henderson (3), North Shore Policing Centre (5), Orewa (1)

AUCKLAND CITY - Glen Innes (3), Mt Wellington (5), Downtown (1)

COUNTIES-MANUKAU - Howick (4), Otahuhu (4), Papakura (5), Manurewa (5)

WAIKATO- Hamilton (4), Huntly (3), Cambridge (1), Te Awamutu (1)

BAY OF PLENTY- Tauranga (5), Whakatane (1), Taupo (1), Rotorua (5)

EASTERN - Gisborne (1)

WELLINGTON - Wellington (4), Lower Hutt (2), Porirua (1), Kapiti-Mana (1)

CANTERBURY - Christchurch (1), Timaru (2)

SOUTHERN - Invercargill (1), Gore (1)


  • The Minister's Prize for First in Wing will be awarded to Constable Andrew HARLOW, posted to Lower Hutt. Constable Harlow has also won a section prize (see below).

  • The Commissioner's Prize for Second in Wing will be awarded to Constable Ricardo CHISHOLM, posted to Tauranga. Constable Chisholm has also won the INTERGRAPH Computer Skills Prize presented, for the first time tomorrow, to the overall winner in Computer Studies, and a section prize (see below).

  • The Patron's Prize for Third in Wing will be awarded to Constable Christopher HASSALL, posted to Dargaville.

  • The INTERNATIONAL POLICE ASSOCIATION Academic Prize (for overall academic achievement) will be awarded to Constable James MEAD, posted to Howick.

  • The ERICSSON Practical Prize for the overall winner of practical assessments, file preparation and fingerprinting will be awarded to Constable Helen WARNER, posted to Howick.

  • The HOLDEN Tactical Skills and Safety Prize (overall winner in defensive tactics, firearms and driving) will be awarded to Constable Daniel FORREST, posted to Glen Innes. Constable Forrest has also won the Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award.

  • The Meltzer Prize for Weapon Training will be awarded to Constable Hayden FOWKE, posted to Tauranga.

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 Ricardo CHISHOLM, posted to Tauranga

Section Two Constable Andrew HARLOW, posted to Lower Hutt

Section Three Constable Maysie PALMER, posted to Hamilton

Section Four Constable Regan TAMIHERE, posted to Otahuhu



Wing patron, Wayne Guppy, Mayor of Upper Hutt

The selection of 3rd term Mayor of Upper Hutt, Wayne Guppy, as patron of Recruit Wing 253 cements his family's place in New Zealand Police history. Wayne's father, (late retired Sergeant) Colin Guppy,was one of the first Police dog handlers in this country, and was instrumental in setting up the Dog Training School at Trentham. Wayne has continued to support the "dog school", which is in his constituency, by attending the National championships each year to present the Colin Guppy Trophy to the handler scoring the highest marks in tracking.

Wayne holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Nebraska and set up the first Clinical Pharmacy education programme in New Zealand. He has lectured in pharmaceutics and pharmacology, and in 1991, with his wife Sue, opened a 7-day community pharmacy working in conjunction with the After Hours Medical Centre. He was appointed to the Executive committee of the New Zealand Alcoholic and Drug Dependence Society.

Wayne is chairman of the Upper Hutt Rugby Football club. He was the Wellington Sevens coach from 1994-7 and was heavily involved in Wellington rugby selection and coaching. He has been a regular rugby commentator on several local radio stationsand is a trustee for the Upper Hutt Community Arts Trust.

Wayne will attend the graduation accompanied by his wife Sue and mother Joy Guppy.



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

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