Section 37 of the Police Act 1958 prescribes an oath in the following form:
“I, A.B., do swear that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen in the Police, without favour or affection, malice or ill-will, until I am legally discharged; that I will see and cause Her Majesty's peace to be kept and preserved; that I will prevent to the best of my power all offences against the peace; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law. So help me God.”

The Oaths Modernisation Bill[1] (laid 2005, in progress 29 Mar 2007) proposes the following new versions:
English form"I, [name], swear that I will faithfully and diligently serve Her (or His) Majesty [specify the name of the reigning Sovereign, as in: Queen Elizabeth the Second], Queen (or King) of New Zealand, her (or his) heirs and successors, in the Police, without favour or affection, malice or ill will, until I am lawfully discharged. While in the Police I will, to the best of my power, keep the peace and prevent offences against the peace, and will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, perform all the duties of the office of constable according to law. So help me God."

Maori form:
"Tenei au, a [ingoa], e ki taurangi nei, ka rato pirihonga, urupu hoki ahau i a Ia Arikinui [tohua te ingoa o te Arikinui kei runga i te torona, pera ki a Kuini Irihapeti te Tuarua], Kuini (Kingi ranei) o Niu Tireni, me ona uri whakaheke, i roto i te Kahui Pirihimana, i roto i te kore tautoko, kore aroha ranei, kore mahi kino, kore whakaaro kino ranei, tae rawa ki te wa ka tukua pateatia ahau e te ture. I te wa kei roto ahau i te Kahui Pirihimana, ka pokaikaha ahau ki te hohou i te rongo me te kaupare atu i nga mahi kotikoti i te rongo, a, i roto i oku tino pukenga me oku mohio, ka whakatutuki i nga mahi kua whakaritea hei mahi ma te pirihimana e ai ki te ture. No reira, awhina mai i ahau e te Atua."

Code of Conduct - New Zealand Police

Purpose

The purpose of this Code is to establish the standards of behaviour expected of all New Zealand Police employees. New Zealand's police service is often judged by the way its employees represent it. It is therefore necessary to maintain a high standard of personal and professional conduct. The cornerstone of this Code is that all employees of New Zealand Police will work to the highest ethical standard.

Coverage

The Code of Conduct applies to all New Zealand Police employees (sworn and non-sworn) including permanent, temporary or casual employees, employees on overseas deployment, and persons intending to work. It should be read in conjunction with the relevant employment agreement and Police policies and procedures.

The Code also applies to persons engaged by New Zealand Police (including contractors, consultants and volunteers) and will form part of the contractual arrangements between those persons and New Zealand Police.

Commissioner's comment

This code, to be read in conjunction with the changes to the Police Regulations, marks a transition from the semi-military style of managing behavioural issues in Police to a more mainstream employment practice. I have several intentions in proceeding in this direction: First, I want the standards of behaviour to be expressed in a clear, simple and principled manner, so that everyone in Police understands their professional responsibilities. Secondly, I want the Code to focus us on the judgements people make about how they behave. This will place more clearly the responsibility on each of us to consciously behave within the values framework that is so important for Police. Thirdly, it will lessen the adversarial nature of the process of dealing with issues as they arise, bringing a more sensitive, timely and proper process of inquiry and decision making - thus lessening the impact of managing behavioural issues on both employees of Police and the organisation.

I encourage everyone to understand the Code and how it is intended to be applied. It is critical that everyone approaches this new method with an open mind and in good faith. The result will be the provision of further assurance to the community of the quality of people who collectively comprise the New Zealand Police.

Howard Broad
Commissioner of Police

Commissioner's obligations

The Commissioner has a legally binding duty to act as a good employer and to deal with employees in good faith. The Commissioner is committed to applying the Code in a fair, reasonable and objective manner.

The Commissioner acknowledges his/her obligations as a good employer and in doing so will endeavour to:

  • Maintain open communication and share information where appropriate;
  • Respect the right to privacy and treat people with dignity;
  • Take all practicable steps to provide a safe and healthy working environment;
  • Implement fair and impartial selection and appointment procedures;
  • Provide a written employment agreement setting out the terms and conditions of employment;
  • Provide clear descriptions of duties and expected performance;
  • Offer rates of remuneration in accordance with Police policies;
  • Value diversity and provide equity in employment, including recognition of the aims, aspirations and employment needs of Maori, other ethnic or minority groups, women, and people with disabilities;
  • Provide the opportunity for development and enhancement of individual abilities;
  • Provide a workplace free from harassment and unlawful discrimination;
  • Provide appropriate performance management, disciplinary and dispute procedures and opportunity to redress unfair or unreasonable treatment;
  • Manage change within Police fairly; and
  • Meet all legal requirements as an employer.

Honesty and integrity

Employees are committed and loyal to the vision, values and goals of New Zealand Police. They inspire trust and behave honestly, ethically and with integrity.

  • Employees avoid any activities, either work-related or non work-related, that may in any way bring New Zealand Police into disrepute, or damage the relationship of trust and confidence between Police and Government, other agencies or the community.

  • All employment related communications are conducted in good faith, in an open and truthful manner.

  • Employees take responsibility for their own actions and decisions, and challenge unethical or unprofessional behaviour.

Loyalty, good faith and professionalism

Employees have a duty of trust and fidelity. They are committed to carrying out faithfully the duties and obligations of the role for which they are employed in an efficient, competent and loyal manner, and avoid behaviour that might impair their effectiveness. Employees are proactive in protecting Police's interests, rather than merely refraining from damaging them.

  • Employees obey all lawful and reasonable instructions unless there is good and sufficient cause to do otherwise.

  • Employees abide by the provisions of all New Zealand legislation, together with instructions, standards, policies and procedures set by Police.

  • Employees act professionally at all times and are aware of the impact of their behaviour and decisions.

  • Employees support their colleagues in the execution of their lawful duties, and challenge any improper behaviour, as appropriate, including reporting it.

  • Employees exercise sound discretion and judgement at all times.

  • Employees avoid conduct which may, or does, impair work performance, including the use of alcohol and other drugs or substances.

  • All employees maintain a professional image.

Fairness and Impartiality

All employees have a responsibility to act with fairness and impartiality in all dealings with their colleagues and the public, and to be seen to do so, avoiding any potential or perceived conflicts of interest.

  • Employees avoid situations that might compromise, directly or indirectly, their impartiality or otherwise calls into question an employee's ability to deal with a matter in a fair and unbiased manner. Employees inform their managers where any actual or perceived conflict of interest could arise.

  • Employees ensure that they remain politically neutral in all of their dealings in the workplace.

  • Where employees do participate in political matters in a personal capacity, they do not bring themselves into conflict with their primary role as Police employees.

  • Employees may participate in public bodies or voluntary associations, or stand for elected roles in local or national government in compliance with the relevant legislative requirements and Police policies.

Respect for people and property

All employees understand that their role is to acknowledge and respond to our diverse society and to treat all people and their property with dignity and respect.

  • Employees are fair and just in carrying out their duties, irrespective of their personal beliefs, values and philosophies.

  • Employees respect the rights of all persons and treat members of the public and other employees with courtesy and respect.

  • Employees avoid oppressive, harassing or overbearing behaviour or language.

  • Employees avoid discriminating behaviour or language in accordance with the Human Rights Act 1993.

  • Employees observe and protect the rights of others to privacy and confidentiality.

  • Employees avoid any behaviour in the workplace that may cause unreasonable distress to colleagues or interfere with their ability to carry out their duties.

  • Employees exercise reasonable care to prevent inappropriate use, loss or damage to property and have regard for the safety of others in the use of Police property and resources.

Confidentiality

Information which comes into an employee's possession in the course of their duties must be treated in confidence and only used for official purposes.

  • Care is taken with the handling of information, including ensuring it is only used in accordance with applicable legislation and recognised standards, policies and directives.

  • Employees do not access or use confidential, personal, or sensitive information for personal purposes or advantage, or divulge such information to another person outside of official duties or as otherwise required by law.

  • Employees do not access personal information for the purpose of satisfying curiosity.

  • Official and private information is only released in accordance with applicable legislation and Police procedures, and by employees authorised to deal with requests for information.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct

This Code specifies the ethical and professional standards expected of New Zealand Police employees. To help illustrate those standards the following list provides some examples of behaviours that are not acceptable. This list is not exhaustive. The fact that a certain unsatisfactory behaviour or action is not listed does not mean it is condoned or acceptable.

In determining whether an employee's behaviour constitutes a breach of this Code regard should be had to the following factors:

  • the nature and circumstances of the activity;
  • the position, duties, and responsibility of the employee;
  • the consequences of the activity on the ability of the employee to fulfil his or her duties and responsibilities;
  • the effects of the activity or its consequences on internal or external relationships;
  • the manner in which similar behaviour has been treated by Police under this Code of Conduct; and
  • the effect of the behaviour on Police's trust and confidence in the employee.

The seriousness and consequences of any breach of the Code depends on the circumstances in which it occurs. In the main, breaches will fall under the heading misconduct or serious misconduct, the latter being sufficient to justify dismissal having followed due process. However, depending on an assessment of the facts and the degree of the breach, behaviour listed as misconduct can be treated as serious misconduct, and vice versa.

Misconduct

The following are some specific examples of the types of unsatisfactory behaviours which may constitute misconduct and could lead to a formal warning, a final warning, or dismissal following due process: [This list is not exhaustive. There may be other matters that may constitute misconduct according to the circumstances.]

  • negligence or carelessness in the performance of duty;

  • impairment in the performance of duties due to the consumption of alcohol or other drugs or substances;

  • absence from duty or place of work without proper reason or authorisation;

  • repeated lateness for work, or repeated absenteeism without just cause;

  • failure to comply with a lawful instruction, including a reasonable and lawfully given warning, unless there is good and sufficient cause to do otherwise;

  • undertaking secondary employment without approval;

  • treating a person harshly;

  • failure to declare a reasonably foreseeable conflict of interest;

  • wilful misuse, mistreatment, or otherwise not taking reasonable care of Police property;

  • behaving in a manner that causes unreasonable distress to other employees or persons on Police premises, including causing distress via indirect means; or

  • using abusive or offensive language.

Serious Misconduct

The following are some specific examples of unsatisfactory behaviour that may be considered serious misconduct and which could justify dismissal without notice following due process: [This list is not exhaustive. There may be other matters that may constitute serious misconduct according to the circumstances.]

  • knowingly falsifying a document or Police record/s or knowingly making a false declaration or statement, including an incorrect record of attendance or false explanation of an absence;

  • sending or saving inappropriate or offensive emails and/or their attachments, or using the Internet or the Police computer system in breach of Police policy;

  • using any Police databases for an unauthorised or personal purpose;

  • issuing any unauthorised permit, licence or other document to any person;

  • admitting to, or being convicted of, any offence which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, brings into question the employee's suitability for continued employment with Police;

  • insubordination, including publicly criticising Police (except in accordance with Police's policy on Protected Disclosures), or disobedience or abuse directed at supervisors/managers;

  • using racially offensive language and/or demonstrating racially offensive behaviour;

  • undertaking secondary employment despite having had the application for that employment declined;

  • use of excessive force;

  • wilfully damaging any Police property;

  • removing or retaining any Police property without authorisation;

  • removing or taking possession of another employee's property without their permission; or

  • allowing unauthorised access to, or disclosure of any matter or information in relation to Police business;