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Wing 371 Graduation – new cops for Christmas – NZ Police

Police welcomed 62 officers to the front line today. The wing celebrated their success with whānau and friends in front of Commissioner Andrew Coster, Police Minister Hon Mark Mitchell, members of the police executive, and proud patron Dame Therese Walsh DNZM.

Dame Therese said she was humbled by the invitation to be patron.

“I challenge each of you to embrace the things that make you different…

embrace your diversity, embrace your difference and be you.”

This wing is made up of a number of police families – especially sisters.

Northland Police welcomed a third sister into the police whānau today as Constable Chanel Ruri follows in the footsteps of her sisters Briahn and Geneva, who are also frontline.

Chanel says, “I am here for my daughter and my extended family.

I want to help contribute to a safer community for my daughter to live in.” Chanel, who is ex Royal New Zealand Navy will be based in Northland like her sisters.

The wing includes not only former armed services like Chanel, but dedicated volunteers, and some who have been working for Police in other roles, such as Authorised Officers and Emergency Communicators.

There are many graduates with tertiary education and a vast range of trade qualifications.

The Leadership Award winner is Constable James Cooney, who says that joining police has always been a dream of his. James has worked in finance and accounting industries and returned to New Zealand last year to pursue his policing dream. “I chose policing because it’s been an ambition ever since high school.

I’ve received a lot of support from the various communities I’ve lived in over the years and policing is the perfect job to be able to give back,” he says.

James will be based in Bay of Plenty District.

The Minister’s Award for Top of Wing, after the collation of all course assessments goes to Constable Benjamin Winstanley.

Ben also won the Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award.

“I’d like to thank my sergeant, my section and the whole wing.

A journey like this is never taken alone.

None of this would have been possible without the backing of our families, and all they have sacrificed to get us to this point,” says Ben.

Ben is posted to Canterbury District.

The constable who achieved second in wing is Constable Harrison Taylor posted to Wellington District.

Harrison had always thought of joining the Police from an early age and now feels he’s able to make a direct impact in people’s lives.

“It’s what I was missing from my previous roles – it’s good to have a sense of purpose.”

Patron: Dame Therese Walsh

The patron role is set up to influence and guide the recruits to success throughout their training programme at The Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC).

Dame Therese Walsh is a professional director and a highly regarded inspirational leader with a background in leading major sporting events.

She is currently Chair of Air New Zealand, Chair of ASB Bank, Chair of Chapter Zero NZ and a Director of Antarctica New Zealand and OnBeingBold.

She is also a Beyond Greatness Champion, one of the inspirational women from New Zealand and Australia chosen to help support the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Dame Therese has served on many other boards too – she was Chair of TVNZ; Pro Chancellor of Victoria University Wellington; a Director of NZX, Contact Energy, NZ Cricket and Save the Children; and Trustee of the Wellington Regional Stadium. Dame Therese started her career as a chartered accountant and auditor at KPMG and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

In 2003 she moved to the New Zealand Rugby Union where she was Chief Financial Officer and part of the team that worked on the winning bid to host the Rugby World Cup 2011.

She has also been Chief Operating Officer for Rugby New Zealand and was Head of New Zealand for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

Testament to her inspirational leadership, in 2013 she was awarded Westpac’s Women of Influence Supreme Award and a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2014.

In 2015 she received the country’s top honour, being made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sports administration.


Minister’s Award recognising top student: Constable Benjamin Winstanley.

The Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award also goes to Constable Winstanley.

He is posted to Canterbury District.

Patron’s Award for Second in Wing, recognising second top student: Constable Harrison Taylor, Wellington District.

Commissioner’s Award for Leadership: Constable James Cooney, Bay of Plenty District.

Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award: Constable Isiah Dayman, Tasman District.

Firearms Award: Constable Keegan Cassidy, Waikato District.


The entire wing will disperse to the following districts the week starting Monday 25 December – Christmas Day.

Tāmaki Makaurau a total of 19: Auckland City – 8, Counties Manukau – 9, Waitematā – 2,

Northland – 5 Waikato – 3, Bay of Plenty – 5, Eastern – 2, Central – 5, Wellington – 9, Tasman – 3, Canterbury – 7, Southern – 4.


27.4 percent are female, and 72.6 percent are male.

New Zealand European make up 71 percent of the wing, with Māori 16.1 percent, Pasifika 8.1 percent and Asian 4.8.



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