Source: New Zealand Police
Fifty-nine new cops have completed their training for the frontline and will graduate on Thursday at the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Before joining Police, Constable Blake Parata was a youth worker at Billy Graham’s Naenae Boxing Academy, where he worked closely with Youth Aid, Oranga Tamariki and other organisations “to make sure the academy’s young people were being looked after.” He says he has a passion for working with youth and in particular young Māori men, and has joined Police to make a difference in the community.
Blake is carrying on the Parata family legacy, with his father Inspector Naera Parata in the job and his grandfather well-known Lower Hutt identity, Wahine survivor and former police detective, the late Tata Parata.
“Both Grandad and Dad have made me the man I am today and to follow in their footsteps is a huge honour and privilege. Obviously with Grandad not being at graduation I will be thinking about him, and throughout my entire police career I will be doing my best to serve the Parata name within New Zealand Police.”
Constable Parata is posted to Wellington District.
Originally from Serbia, Constable Lazar Nikolic brings experience from working at Oranga Tamariki as a policy analyst to his new role in Police. He says while working there he was inspired to join Police “to help children and families in a frontline role.”
Lazar came to New Zealand as a 5-year-old with his family after they left the former Yugoslavia for a better life.
Lazar credits a teacher at his New Zealand primary school for inspiring him to seek out a life of service.
“When I arrived in New Zealand I couldn’t speak English and it was a teacher in my primary school that taught me. He made it his goal to give me a voice. That had a huge impact on me, and from then on all I wanted to do was help others.”
Constable Nikolic is posted to Wellington District.
Constable Laura Gibbs has taken out the top prize in the wing, the Minister’s Award. Laura joined Police after giving the corporate world a go, because she says an office job paled in comparison to the allure of Police.
“I soon realised office life was not for me and applied to join the Police as I was seeking a role with more energy, excitement, variation and the opportunity to interact with and help the community on a daily basis.”
Laura also says her desire to join Police is in the blood, as her father is a senior constable and she has grown up seeing his passion for the job.
Constable Gibbs is posted to Central District.
Rugby referee and life-saver Constable Monique Dalley is also graduating. Monique hit the news headlines in August when she helped resuscitate a young rugby player who had been knocked unconscious. Monique was recognised for her quick thinking and fast action by the Police College’s Superintendent Scott Fraser, who awarded her a special commendation.
Constable Dalley is posted to Wellington District.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement, other members of the Police Executive, Police Minister Hon Stuart Nash and wing patron Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall will also be present at the graduation ceremony on Thursday 24 October.
Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall has been New Zealand’s chief coroner since 2015. She is a former police officer who worked as a detective in the Auckland Criminal Investigation Branch where she specialised in fraud investigations.
She has also worked in the Serious Fraud Office on large criminal trials, and has been an investigator for the Privacy Commissioner and a Crown Prosecutor in the Office of the Crown Solicitor in Auckland.
In January 2013 she was appointed as a coroner in Auckland, and in February 2015 she was appointed the chief coroner and a District Court judge.
Minister’s Award recognising top student – Constable Laura Gibbs, Central District
Patron’s Award, recognising second top student – Constable Jack Stickings, Southern District
Commissioner’s Award for Leadership – Constable Stephanie Lee, Southern District
Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award – Constable Peter Smallfield, Southern District
Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award – Constable Logan Stanley, Central District
Firearms Award – Constable Gregory Meier, Central District
The new constables will have a one-week break before starting duties in their districts. The wing is being dispersed as follows:
Northland – 2
Waikato – 10
Bay of Plenty – 6
Eastern – 4
Central – 8
Wellington – 11
Tasman – 2
Canterbury – 10
Southern – 6
Media are welcome to attend the Graduation Parade which takes place at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua. The ceremony starts at 2.00pm on Thursday. Any media wishing to attend the graduation should contact the Police Media Centre by 5pm Wednesday at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issued by the Police Media Centre