With a thunderous haka, the members of Recruit Wing 312 finished their initial training and left the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) last week as new constables.
In the packed college gymnasium, Wing Patron Sir Mark Solomon KNZM, Commissioner Mike Bush and Police Minister Stuart Nash addressed the 59 constables and thanked the gathered family members and friends for their support.
Māori leader Sir Mark told the wing that as their patron he was proud of them and as a citizen wished them the best as they went into their communities “for the betterment of us all”.
“You have a hard road ahead,” he said. “You will see some of the good parts of life; you’ll also see a lot of the bad parts as well. I know we are going to be proud of Wing 312.”
In a number of cases, the new graduates are continuing proud family traditions.
Superintendent Chris Scahill, National Manager Response and Operations, and Wendy Scahill, Wellington District Executive Officer, were there to see their son Tim graduate (Wellington District).
Inspector Mark Harrison, Policing Development Manager in Central District, was there to see son Ryan graduate (also to Central), accompanied by Ryan’s brother Kent, a frontline support officer in Palmerston North.
Detective Sergeant Phillip Cox (Auckland City) was supporting son James (Waitematā); Sergeant Paul Piper (Canterbury) was with daughter Louise (Waitematā); and Sergeant John McCarthy was there with daughter Kate (both Waikato).
Chris said it was a poignant and proud moment for the Scahills. “I’m reflecting that it has been 30 years and 202 wings since I graduated with Wing 110 and it’s great to see how far we’ve come – and yet how the important things remain the same.”
Tim said he had loved every minute of his time at the RNZPC. “Never in my life have I been happier to get up at 6am.”
Mark said policing was a career Ryan always wanted to follow. “It’s a very proud day for the family and a chance for Ryan to realise his dreams. We know what the career has given us and what the job has meant to us.”
The graduates comprise 40 men and 19 women, aged between 18 and 54. Members have diverse backgrounds including military service; one is a former Olympic weightlifter; and one an international cheerleading champion. New Constable Piper worked on the production team for TV shows including Dog Squad.
The Minister’s Award for the top student after the collation of all course assessments was awarded to Constable Craig Muir, who is posted to Northland.
The Commissioner’s Award for Leadership, for outstanding potential to lead self and others, was awarded to Constable Robyn Smith, who is posted to Waitematā.
The Patron’s Award for the second top student after the collation of all course assessments was awarded to Constable Liam Neems, who is posted to Counties Manukau.
Deployment by district
Northland (6); Waitematā (8); Auckland (11); Counties Manukau (12); Waikato (7); Bay of Plenty (4); Eastern (4); Central (2); Wellington (2); Canterbury (2); Southern (1).