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IWD 2018: NZ Police records largest number of female recruits

Timoci Vula
Thursday, March 08, 2018

Update: 11:47AM NEW Zealand: THE New Zealand Police Force is today recognising International Women's Day by preparing for the arrival of 42 female recruits - which it says is the largest number of female recruits ever in a single wing.

Wing 315, which has a total of 80 new recruits, begin at the Royal New Zealand Police College on Monday.

A statement from the NZPF said Wing Patron Dame Jenny Shipley would be supporting those recruits through their training.

Dame Jenny was the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand.

In a statement from Police, Wing 315 recruit Kiahli Ibbetson said she felt honoured to have the opportunity to learn from Dame Shipley.

"She has been instrumental in encouraging women into areas traditionally held by men. I will certainly be encouraged to perform to the best of my ability - I don't want to fail in front of a former Prime Minister!" Miss Ibbetson said.

The 19-year-old recruit said she was excited and nervous about starting at the college.

She had wanted to join New Zealand Police for a long time, and started the process when she was just 17 years.

As a volunteer Fire Fighter in Matata, she has worked closely with Police in her community and seen first-hand what a rewarding and challenging job it is.

Miss Ibbetson said joining the Matata Volunteer Fire Service, which also is a first responder brigade, had been one of the most worthwhile experiences of her life.

"I know being a Police Officer won't always be the easiest of jobs, but I know I'll feel a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day knowing that I've helped keep my community safe," she said.

The New Zealand Police Force has set an ambitious target of having 50 per cent female recruits by 2021.

In December last year, NZ Police held its first Women's Recruitment Day.

"Wing 315, which is over 50 per cent female, demonstrates we are making significant progress towards achieving this target," says Kaye Ryan, Deputy Chief Executive: People.

"Police are looking to recruit people who are compassionate and empathetic, and who want to make a positive difference in their community.

"Gender and ethnic diversity are an important priority for NZ Police, and we are committed to improving our numbers of women so we can better represent the communities we serve."

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