Wednesday, 11 November 2020 - 12:12pm |
National News

For their community and country – police graduation tomorrow

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Hijab on a mannequin

Seventy-six new cops have completed their training for the frontline and will graduate on Thursday at the Royal New Zealand Police College in front of new Police Minister, the Hon Poto Williams. 

In this highly diverse wing the women outnumber the men. Over 50 percent of the graduates are female (51.3 percent), while nearly half the wing (48.7 percent) are of ethnicities other than NZ European – for instance Māori make up 25 percent of the wing.

In a first for New Zealand Police, one member of the wing has been able to wear a specially designed hijab as part of the uniform. Constable Zeena Ali had the opportunity to trial several hijab and make recommendations for improvement before she began her police training, with further tweaks made during the recruit course.

Police worked closely with Massey University’s School of Design to come up with a hijab that is suitable for police work and comfortable to wear.

“Police and the Massey design team have been really easy to work with to make adjustments to the hijab,” says Zeena. “Police’s focus has always been on making it work well for me.”

Zeena, who is originally from Fiji but has lived in New Zealand since she was a child, says she’s hoping to inspire other women in the Muslim community to join Police, bringing more diversity to match the demographics of the community.

Constable Kenny Lim is taking on two new roles – husband and police officer. Kenny got married in the weekend before graduation, but the wedding plans didn’t distract him from his recruit course. Kenny has achieved the Minister’s Award for the top student in the wing.
Kenny has degrees in law and commerce and has been working in the IT industry. He says he couldn’t see himself working in IT long term, and joining Police had always been something he’d wanted to do.

“I wanted to join Police to be of service to my community and country while having an active job with plenty of camaraderie,” he says.

Constable Rebekah Hoyle has taken out second place in the wing, winning the Patron’s Award. Rebekah says her father Superintendent Sam Hoyle – currently New Zealand Police’s Liaison Officer in Washington DC – was her inspiration for wanting to join Police.
Rebekah started her Police career three years ago working in Police Communications initially as a communicator then as a dispatcher and trainer.

“I always knew I wanted to join Police and working in Comms really solidified my aspiration to become a police officer,” she says.

“My whole life I have been part of the Police whānau, but now I can contribute and be part of the team in a constabulary role.”

Her father will be looking on proudly at the graduation ceremony, back from overseas and through the managed isolation process.

Former NZ-representative tennis player Constable Nicole Douglas (Te Arawa) will receive the Commissioner’s Leadership Award at the ceremony. She has also won the Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award.

As a teenager Nicole and her tennis partner gained a ranking in the world top 100 for doubles. She has travelled internationally for tennis and kapa haka, and says she has always been keen to share the Māori culture with the world.

From her first day in the wing she has demonstrated strong leadership skills, including leading the wing’s waiata at their pōwhiri and changing the Police haka actions to showcase the wāhine in the wing.

Nicole says she’s joined Police to help people who have disadvantages in their lives.

“I have always wanted to help those less fortunate and felt the Police would enable me to do this. I want to achieve great things and join other officers in ensuring everybody can be safe and feel safe.”

Nicole will be singing the National Anthem at the ceremony.

Commissioner Andrew Coster, Police Minister Hon Poto Williams and wing patron Professor Chris Marshall will also be present at the graduation ceremony on Thursday 12 November.

Professor Marshall is an expert in restorative justice and is recognised internationally for his work in this area. He is currently the inaugural holder of the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice at Victoria University of Wellington. In this role he provides leadership on restorative justice teaching and research within the justice sector and beyond, and helps drive engagement on restorative justice issues.


  • Minister’s Award recognising top student – Constable Kenny Lim, Counties Manukau District
  • Patron’s Award, recognising second top student – Constable Rebekah Hoyle, Wellington District
  • Commissioner’s Award for Leadership – Constable Nicole Douglas, Bay of Plenty District
  • Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award – Constable Nicole Douglas, Bay of Plenty District
  • Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award – Constable Louise Thompson, Central District
  • Firearms Award – Constable Jesse Remnant, Bay of Plenty District

Deployment information

The new constables will have a one-week break before starting duties in their districts. The wing is being dispersed as follows:

  • Northland – 5
  • Waitematā – 24
  • Auckland – 5
  • Counties Manukau – 14
  • Waikato – 5
  • Bay of Plenty – 7
  • Eastern – 3
  • Central – 3
  • Wellington – 2
  • Tasman – 3
  • Southern – 5


Media are welcome to attend the Graduation Parade which takes place at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua. The ceremony starts at 2.00pm on Thursday. Any media wishing to attend the graduation should contact the Police Media Centre by 5pm Wednesday at


Issued by Police Media Centre

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