Tuesday, 12 October 2021 - 4:48pm

Hijab no barrier to recruitment

1 min read

News article photos (4 items)

Constable Zeena Ali on her graduation day.
Commissioner Andy Coster and Constable Zeena Ali at her attestation ceremony in November 2020.
A mannequin models some of the fabrics during the design phase at Police National Headquarters.

A young student who thought she couldn't become a police officer because she wears a hijab has been sent a reassuring message from the first New Zealand policewoman to wear a bespoke uniform hijab, Constable Zeena Ali.

The girl's teacher approached Police last month to ask if we had any Muslim policewomen after hearing her pupil's concerns during a careers class.

Zeena was not only the first Muslim policewoman to trial and wear the uniform hijab, she was also involved in its operational design. She graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College in November 2020 and is working on the front line in Tamaki Makaurau.  

When Zeena heard what the young girl had said she recorded a personalised message for her to reassure her that wearing a hijab is not a barrier to any Muslim woman wanting to join New Zealand Police.

"The team at New Zealand Police last year worked real hard to put this amazing hijab together for us Muslim women to be part of their team," Zeena tells her in the video, which you can watch in full, above.

"So do not think for a second that there is anything that is going to stop you being a part of New Zealand Police."

The uniform hijab is made from a technical sports fabric that is light to wear, antibacterial, moisture-wicking and robust. It was formally approved as an elective item of Police uniform in November 2020. 

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