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Superintendent John Price announces retirement

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Superintendent John Price announces retirement from New Zealand Police

Canterbury District Commander, Superintendent John Price has today announced he is to retire on 12 March, after 36-years of service with New Zealand Police.

Superintendent Price will be commencing his new career in the Executive Leadership role of Deputy Chief Executive Emergency Management and Director Civil Defence Emergency Management at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

After his extensive experience and leadership with emergency operations for Police he is excited and honoured to be appointed into this senior leadership role that will be critical for the safety of all Aotearoa New Zealand.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to serve in New Zealand Police and our community for the last 36 years,” Superintendent Price says.

“I’m extremely grateful to the talented, professional and dedicated staff I’ve had the pleasure of working with throughout my career and the exceptional partners who have all worked together for a safer and better community.

“I’m also thankful for the incredible level of community support, particularly in the wake of challenging and traumatic events that is so inherent in policing. I have seen the very best elements of extraordinary people and communities demonstrating courage, compassion and hope for our community by our community and to be part of that and witness this first-hand has been my greatest reward. To see real humanity at its best out of many crisis situations reminds me that our community, our partners, and our police team are the everyday heroes. Their pure drive for justice, peace and safety are the foundations of our community.  

“I’ve made incredible relationships and partnerships with some very special people and groups, and this has been the fuel that has given me the energy and passion for policing over the last eight years it is always about our people and our community.

“Retiring from police was a natural progression for me as the incredible opportunity to step into a new, rewarding and exciting career with NEMA where I can be part of a professional team dedicated and committed to the emergency preparedness, resilience, response, recovery and safety of all Aotearoa New Zealand."

Superintendent Price joined Police in 1987 and began his career serving in Wellington and mostly in the CIB which was an extremely rewarding start to his career with many high-profile investigations.

He also selected to serve in Rotorua with Operation Austin, the investigation into historical offending by Police where the integrity of policing was compromised, and this has been a hallmark of his career. 

In 2005, he was deployed to Operation Phuket, following the Boxing Day tsunami, as ante-mortem commander in the international Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team.

Superintendent Price returned to his home district, Canterbury, on promotion to Inspector. Throughout the Canterbury Earthquake sequence including the 22 February 2011, he was Operations Commander and acting District Commander for Operation Earthquake and managed the Command and Control, Rescue and Search phases.

He served as Kāpiti-Mana Area Commander and, from 2012 as superintendent, National Manager Training and Development at the Royal New Zealand Police College. The College role enabled his education background and operational policing to reset the culture and training of police. It was a genuine highlight to enable our people to be their best through training and development.

He relieved as district commander in Canterbury, Northland and Central before returning to Canterbury as District Commander in June 2015, as there was unfinished commitment to his hometown.

Since then, he has led the district through many events of national significance, such as the 2016 north Canterbury earthquakes, Port Hill fires and the 2019 terrorist attacks along with many operational policing events.

Superintendent Price also led a review into the Samoan Police Service in mid-2019 and has served in Australia.

His service was officially recognised when he was made an Officer of the Most Venerable Order of St John (OStJ) in 2020, and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2021.

Commissioner Andrew Coster says, “John has made an enormous contribution to New Zealand Police over the past 36-years.”

“He has been presented with some unique challenges in his District Commander role in Canterbury over almost eight years and has navigated those well.

“I sincerely thank him for his service to Police, to the communities he has served and for his personal support to me as Commissioner.”

New Zealand Police wish Superintendent Price all the best in his new role and thank his family who have had to share him with us for so long.


Issued by Police Media Centre

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