Unitec Institute of Technology and New Zealand Police celebrated 15 years of partnership, delivering the Pre-Police course to encourage greater diversity amongst Police recruits.
The course was started in 2003, for Pacific and Māori who were considering a career with the Police, but may have benefitted from extra training to achieve the academic or fitness levels required to join.
Unitec runs two 14-week courses each year, starting with an open seminar attended by around 60-80 hopefuls. From this, 20 candidates are selected for the course and begin their training with classroom sessions and fitness drills tailored toward the Police Entrance Test.
The course was later expanded to reflect the growing diversity of Auckland and now serves many ethnicities.
Over the 15 years, course participants have achieved an 80 percent pass rate for the Police Entrance Test and more than 400 graduates have gone on to serve as Police Officers. Graduates have included New Zealand’s first Tokelauan officer, first Hungarian officer, and first female Indian officer.
The anniversary was celebrated today at a ceremony held at Unitec, attended by Auckland District Commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus, Unitec Executive Dean Merran Davis, and more than 40 active Police Officers, all graduates of the Unitec course.
Past tutors and students were recognised with awards for their service and shared stories of how the course had changed their lives, and the lives of their families.
Unitec Director of Pacific Success, Dr Falaniko Tominiko, said the collaboration between NZ Police and Unitec had been key to the high pass rates and ensuring candidates went on to great careers.
“The trust between the organisations to work together has helped hundreds of brilliant people to achieve their goal of becoming Police Officers. It’s hugely satisfying to see them go on to serve our communities, and we are all grateful for their efforts.”
He paid tribute to his predecessor Linda Aumua, Unitec’s former Director of the Pacific Learning Centre, who he said was instrumental in the creation of the course back in 2003.