Forty-nine new constables are taking to the field in their districts this week after graduating in front of their patron, cricketing legend and retired Black Cap, Grant Elliot.
The members of Recruit Wing 363 bowled into Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua on 2 March for their attestation and graduation parade, with proud family members, friends and other well-wishers there to cheer them on from the boundary.
“What a proud and humbling moment, to stand in front of you and see how far you have all come,” said Grant, no stranger to team culture, motivation and exactly what it takes to create a high-performing team.
“Every single one of you has been hand-picked and selected and passed a rigorous selection process to be part of a team that protects the communities we love. You should all be extremely proud of what you have accomplished.”
The ceremony was attended by VIPs including Commissioner Andrew Coster and Police Minister Stuart Nash.
Top of Wing Constable Emma Hensman brings a wealth of experience to the front line. She studied Law and languages at the University of Auckland, has been a youth pastor at a non-denominational church and worked as an Authorised Officer and a Police Prosecutor in Counties Manukau, which has given her a big head-start in the world of policing.
“I am honoured to have achieved top of the wing,” says Emma. “I’ve joined the New Zealand Police as I care about our communities and I want to help people.”
She is now working back in her former district, Counties Manukau.
Constable Anthony Tuitavake, winner of the Commissioner’s Award for Leadership, became All Black No 1072 in 2008. He played Super Rugby for the Blues and Highlanders, Rugby Sevens for New Zealand and continued his sporting career in Japan and France, where he also coached rugby.
“Giving back to the community is something that’s important to me,” he says. “I wanted to sign up after finishing school but it didn’t happen, but now I have come full circle and with a lot of life experience and more to offer.”
In his speech to the wing he recognised their teamwork: “Our journey in week one started when we made our solemn undertaking at Maraeroa Marae.
“We individually committed to carry out our duties as members of New Zealand Police faithfully and honestly. We stepped out of our individual comfort zones and started the journey together.
“My peers of Wing 363, remember the importance of your first interaction as this will result in a positive lifetime of change.”
Anthony is serving in Auckland City District.
Constable Alexander Gunson, Second in Wing, is posted to Eastern District, where things have been very busy lately. A qualified builder, his goal is to become a dog handler.
“Having grown up around dogs, and owning and training my own, I am keen to give it a go at some point,” he says. “Right now, I look forward to getting into the district and helping out in my community which needs support right now.”
Someone with plenty of useful experience is Constable Rebecca (Bex) Johnson. Before joining Police, she worked for Stand for Children Services, a residential facility in Auckland, where she managed therapy and education for five to 12-year-olds who have experienced severe trauma.
“This type of work holds a special place in my heart – it changes lives and I’m here for it,” says Bex.
“I also regularly volunteered as a tutor for the Six Thinking Hats Critical Thinking programme through Howard League at Kohuora Prison and Mount Eden Prison and I also helped with Community Crime Watch in Botany town centre.”
Constable Brooke McIntyre (Counties Manukau) has also had exciting life experiences. “I lived in Lovoni Village on Ovalau Island, Fiji, for about eight months as a volunteer teacher,” she says. “I taught a class of year ﬁve and six students for two school terms. I was teaching everything other than Fijian.
“This experience was one in a million. It was deﬁnitely hard adjusting to their lifestyle but I wouldn’t change that experience for the world.”
More about Wing 363
- Minister’s Award recognising top student – Constable Emma Hensman (Auckland City District)
- Patron’s Award for Second in Wing, recognising second top student – Constable Alexander Gunson (Eastern)
- Commissioner’s Award for Leadership – Constable Anthony Tuitavake (Auckland City)
- Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award – Constable Cameron Taylor (Tasman)
- Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award – Constable Mathew Atchison (Bay of Plenty)
- Firearms Award – Constable Rawiri Bidois (Central District)
The entire wing is dispersed as follows:
Northland – 1, Auckland – 7, Counties Manukau – 11, Waikato – 2, Bay of Plenty – 7, Eastern – 3, Central – 2, Wellington – 9, Tasman – 1, Canterbury – 3, Southern – 3.
Of the graduates of Wing 363, 25 percent are female and 75 percent are male. New Zealand European make up 65.3 percent of the wing, with Māori 10.2 percent, Pacific 12.2 percent and Asian 12.2 percent. 100 percent are awesome.