Sixty new cops have completed their training for the frontline and will graduate on Thursday at the Royal New Zealand Police College.
The three graduates who will be receiving awards at the ceremony have always dreamed of becoming police officers, but each has followed a different pathway to the blue uniform.
For top of the wing Constable William Emerson, his pathway involved flying off to Japan and back. After gaining a Bachelor’s degree majoring in criminology William took on teaching
English in Japan for several years, where he enjoyed working alongside the students and teachers. He’s also an avid writer who hopes one day to publish a novel.
But his intention, says William, was always to have a career in Police.
“I wanted a people-focused career that was different every day you stepped into it – and I wanted to be able to apply my communication skills in an environment where the right use of words could have a significant impact on people’s lives.”
William is looking forward to serving the community in Auckland City District.
You could say Constable Brandon Te Huia’s career path has literally had plenty of ups and downs on the way to becoming a police officer, which he calls his “lifelong dream”.
He has worked as a checkout manager in a supermarket, an international flight attendant then inflight manager, and an authorised officer for Police.
Now, Brandon’s keen to take his interest in Māori and youth to a new level.
“I have always been attracted to policing in the hope that I can represent Māori and help Police to break down the over-representation of Māori in our justice system.”
Brandon will receive the award for the second top student in the wing and is posted to Waikato District.
Meanwhile Constable Mahina Martin first tried joining Police when she was 17, but when that didn’t work out she took up coaching roles where she delivered sports programmes, owned a business, and became a mother of three children.
Mahina has a passion for sports and has played for the NZ Māori netball team as well as national teams in tag football and touch rugby. She is currently in the NZ Kiwis Senior Women’s tag football team.
“As policing has been something I have wanted to do from a young age, I feel that now my children are old enough I can finally see my dream to fruition and use my attributes to help others.”
Mahina, who will receive the Leadership Award at the graduation ceremony, says her third child, who is three years old, was her drive to lead by example.
Mahina is posted to Waitematā District.
Another whose life has taken a few twists and turns is Constable Esther Lamb, who at 53 is the eldest in the wing. Esther has a law degree and has practised in family law and conveyancing, owned several restaurants in Auckland and raised three children.
“I’ve joined Police motivated by a desire for a meaningful job that could make a difference in the lives of my community. At my age I had to really consider if policing was the right job for me, but completing SCOPE [going out on shifts with police officers] confirmed for me that
Police would offer a rewarding and varied career.”
Esther is posted to Counties Manukau District.
Commissioner Andrew Coster and Police Minister Hon Poto Williams will be present at the graduation ceremony on Thursday 18 March.
Minister’s Award recognising top student – Constable William Emerson, Auckland City District
Award for Second in Wing, recognising second top student – Constable Brandon Te Huia, Waikato District
Commissioner’s Award for Leadership – Constable Mahina Martin, Waitematā District
Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award – Constable Rebecca Wilson, Canterbury District
Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award – Constable Kalim Stevens, Wellington District
Firearms Award – Constable Antony Pickett, Waitematā District
The new constables will have a one-week break before starting duties in their districts. The wing is being dispersed as follows:
Northland – 1
Waitematā – 6
Auckland City – 8
Counties Manukau – 27
Waikato – 7
Bay of Plenty – 4
Central – 1
Wellington – 1
Canterbury – 5