Skip to main content

General enquiries:

(04) 496 6800


0800 500 122

The New Zealand Police Association, Te Aka Hāpai has been told unequivocally by members that they reject the government’s pay offer which was finally tabled late last week, after months of waiting and eight months after their collective expired.

Association president Chris Cahill said officers have lambasted the offer as “a kick in the guts”, “insulting”, “demoralising”, “farcical”, “disrespectful”, “an absolute joke”, and much more. Many have also revealed the extreme financial pressures they are currently facing, difficulty and inability, to pay rent and mortgages and the lure of Australia.

Mr Cahill says they have waited patiently for months following the firefighters’, nurses’ and teachers’ salary increases and finally get an offer which is effectively lower than the Public Service Pay adjustment they rejected last September. Officers now feel abandoned by government and Police management.

“The coalition government sold itself to Kiwis as “getting tough on crime”, introducing legislation such as the gang patch ban which will greatly increase demand on already stretched frontline officers and increase the risks they face. Yet they insult these very officers by intentionally failing to backdate the pay offer that has been delayed by politics and government processes, not officers.

“The faceless public sector advisors who have recommended this offer to the Minister of Finance have no understanding of the pressure police are facing, or the significant failings in the Police remuneration system that require fixing. Despite having a place at the table, enshrined in legislation, they have chosen not to turn up to negotiations but still place demands on Police that fail to address officers’ concerns,” Mr Cahill said.

“If Police Minister Mark Mitchell expects officers to front up and deliver on his government’s increased expectations to drive down youth crime, crack down on gangs and lower the road toll, he needs to front up to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance and get a pay offer that appropriately compensate officers for the risks they face and the trauma they experience. Police officers care about the communities they serve; the least the government needs to do is demonstrate it cares about their police.

“A nurse or social worker after 6 years earns $22,000 more than a 6-year police constable. No one thinks nurses are overpaid so why are our police constables underpaid? By the time constables reach the top of their pay band, they will have earned $240,000 less than a nurse.”

The association is receiving almost daily reports of officers struggling to pay their mortgages or rent and feed their families. They have been hit by, as this government named it, the “cost of living crisis” and drastic increases in mortgage rates and rents.

Amidst nearly 800 emails received from members this past weekend are claims of hypocrisy from the Police executive with its stated values of “Respect, Empathy and Integrity” and a blatant lack of concern from the government.

“The reduced pay offer now on the table adds insult to injury in that it proposes to claw back some allowances that would, for example, see a detective lose $1,184 a year. It demonstrates how out of touch Police is with its workforce,” Mr Cahill said.

“Don’t they know there is recruitment problem for the CIB as it is?”

Mr Cahill says this government has dined out on its pledge to recruit an extra 500 officers in two years. To have any chance of meeting this promise, it needs to make sure more officers are not leaving the job or leaving the country for better pay and conditions.

“Aussie recruitment lines will have been red hot since our members heard of this offer last Friday.”


Consistent themes through emails

The pay offer is:

  • Insulting
  • Absolute joke
  • Disrespectful
  • Extremely disappointed
  • Outraged
  • Demoralising
  • Undervalued
  • Slap in the face
  • Disgraceful
  • Going to Australia
  • Ridiculous
  • Farcical
  • A joke
  • Kick in the teeth
  • Need to strike/ take industrial action


Quotes from member emails

“The stress of living on inadequate wages, compounded by the high demands and risks associated with our profession, is unsustainable. The lack of financial security is causing significant stress for me and my family, making it increasingly difficult to justify remaining in a role that, while I love, does not provide the means to adequately support my loved ones.”


“I did not expect it to be such a blatantly insulting slap in the face…I personally know of two officers who have had to ask for food parcels, in the last few months, just so they can feed their families…This offer has made me stop and wonder if I want to work for an organisation that undervalues its staff to this degree and shows not a flicker of concern for its people and their wellbeing. I used to be proud of calling myself a New Zealand Police Officer, and I held the organisation in high regard, but that is no longer the case. I am utterly and wholeheartedly disappointed.”


How can the government pride themselves on law and order, introduce ‘tough’ new legislation against gangs, and then insult us with a pittance of a wage rise? Who do they expect to enforce their flagship legislation?”


“The new generation knows exactly what the job is like now through social media and see through the fancy ads, and quickly compare the low wages, crazy shift work, safety, abuse, lack of trust and confidence in police and lack of life balance. The top quality recruits Police used to get are choosing other occupations, and even leaving to Australia to try to recruit through their system directly.”

“The only way I can describe my emotions regarding Police and our executive right now is that it feels as though I’ve just realised I’m in a toxic relationship. A toxic relationship with a cycle of financial instability and a lack of respect/understanding from my partner (NZ Police) who keeps tricking me into thinking I’m special and that they care when in reality they don’t. I know that sounds dramatic, but I think it sums it up pretty well.” 


“As I attend the sudden death of a 12-year-old girl and help a grieving family, then go to a gruesome violent stabbing that will stay with me forever, I will remember that I am valued by this disgusting offer.”


“A number of my colleagues who are still on frontline, only remain there due to not being able to afford their mortgages or feed their families if they cease shift work. In addition to this, some of them have had to pick up second jobs just to make ends meet.”


“My partner (who is also a Police Officer) and myself have had to move out of our property that we own, back into my parents’ house as we are unable to afford the repayments of our mortgage.”


“You would think two Police Officers (CIB) who have provided 10+ yrs to the Police should be able to comfortably own a home and raise a family. The job is stressful enough, we don’t need the added stress of incomings vs outgoings. Ultimately it may become not worth it.”


“My feedback is not printable. I am disgusted at this offer. In 39 yrs of policing I have never been so outraged.”


“I'm on the fence about staying in the job. In June I pass 10 years in the job. I love helping my community, and have sacrificed a lot for it. When I joined, I joined with the thought of making this a lifelong career. I can't financially afford to stay in this job if that's all that is going to be offered. The Australian offers are looking good. Every pay I wonder how I'm going to pay all of my bills, I haven't done anything for myself in months because I can't afford it. So not only is this hard on my pocket, its killing my mental health too. The public need to know what's going on. The fact nothing is being talked about in the media is beyond a joke. Teachers, nurses, fire all had massive presence in the media, where's ours?


Example emails from members


“Kia ora

I know a lot of people will be sharing their stories and how this will impact them and their families, so I thought I'd share my thoughts.

We all know we don't get paid fairly for what we do for this organisation.  I mean we don't get paid poorly, but that is different to being paid a fair wage.

I have been a sworn member for nearly 20 years.  We (family) were doing okay up until Covid hit, and ever since then we have financially been on the back foot, increasing debt but not actually getting anything for it other than keeping up with the cost of living and forking out for fixing broken things in our home/on our property.

Now, with the cost of living as it is, I can barely afford the usual things - gas, groceries, mortgage repayments, insurance, school fees etc.  We don't eat out, and we don't go on expensive holidays. We have been borrowing against an OD facility but I've only got another couple of thousand in that before we hit the limit, and then that's it.  We tried to get a mortgage extension last year but it was declined due to my salary not being enough to satisfy the bank we could meet the new repayment requirements.  That was the first time in our lives we have ever had a request to borrow declined.  I've also taken everything that I can from my Super, so that is not an option either.  I have considered applying under financial hardship but I'm not quite sure I meet the requirements.

I'm trying really hard to share nothing but facts, and keep the emotion out of it, but I've reached the point where I've had enough of being unfairly remunerated by NZ Police.  I put in 14 hours overtime last week just to get the work done in my work group to a minimal standard.  It wasn't even done well, it was just enough to carry on for another week.  The demand on staff, especially at the lower end of the ladder, is enormous.  Middle management are doing what they can to help us breathe, but it feels like we are truly not cared about by the Executive and Government.  This pay offer is an insult.  And if I hear another commissioned officer say the words "our people".....

I've kept this quiet from everyone I work with, but last week I sent my CV off to an external company to be considered for a new role.  It's the first time in nearly 20 years that I have applied for a job outside of police.  I love my job, my workgroup, my colleagues, and am proud to represent this organisation, but I financially cannot carry on like this any longer.  It's sad that this is what it has come to.  This pay offer is pretty much the nail in the coffin for me I think.  I really wish it wasn't, as I'm really happy and proud of what I do every day.

Like you and lots of people I work with, I've got a number of mates who have headed across the ditch to join one of the Australian State police forces.  Aside from one, every other I've spoken with have had positive outcomes for them and their families.  No wonder people are so eager to go over there.  I can't because of my family situation but if I could, I would too.

Thank you to Chris and all of the NZPA staff who continue to fight for fair pay and fair treatment from this organisation.  We are really grateful."


“Hi Chris,

The pay offer was deeply disappointing, and let me paint you a picture of my current situation to explain why. Due to the pressures of this job, my marriage dissolved. My ex husband did not like my career choice and I chose the job over him.

As a result I left the relationship with debt which I used my Super to clear so I could "afford" to live in my own home with my children.

I work full time on PST.

I earn $1918 fortnightly after insurance and super is deducted.

I pay $1400 fortnight in rent. That is market value and I cannot find any other 3 bedroom home for less.

I pay $200 fortnightly for utilities, power, phone, internet etc.

I only have $300 left for food each fortnight. I am left struggling to feed my children three days before pay day as there is no money and no food left! I have exceeded my limits from borrowing off family. Sometimes its just 2 minute noodles for dinner and I am just grateful I have something to put in their bellies, I go without!

This is unbelievable that I am in this situation, how? When I work full time?

I do not get child support, my ex and I share custody of the kids 50/50.

I get $145 fortnightly for working for families, and this is sucked up by petrol, rubbish bin, gym membership (my only unnecessary expense) and college fees.

I cannot afford to stay with the Police after 6 years, and if nothing changes, I have no choice but to find another job."



“I worked all through Covid while the rest of NZ stayed at home with their families. I lived alone through all of the lockdowns. The Police bent over backwards to enforce the daily ongoing law changes and had to be the face of the government and pamper people’s egos to get through each vehicle stop, sighting of people working, or partying. It felt like we had to sort out everything including the occupation.

I went to Parliament for 12 days during the occupation. We stood outside parliament getting abuse hurled at us that whole time. We had no sleep, worked all day and on call all night running back to parliament to sure up another bollard moved, take a toilet block etc. Then we had to battle for 12hrs to take back parliament while paving stones etc rained down on us. My mate was knocked out 10feet from me while the rioters were literally trying to kill us. We didn’t even have a shield, helmet or pepper spray ! I caught Covid and drove my concussed mate home across the country the next day. I was owed 9 days off that I didn’t receive because I had Covid sick leave instead.

I have been covering 2 to 3 roles for about 5 years from my station. To drive from one side of my area to the other would take 2hours North to South and 2.5hrs east to west. I’d estimate there is about 60,000 people in that area. I get the files for everyone under 18. I’ve never got any thanks for saving the department two other salaries because they can’t fill the positions. After last week’s news I’m not going to do that anymore.

I’ve worked 18 out of 20 Christmas and New Years periods. I did 20 years of shift work. I am divorced now and have two teenagers living with me. I have a large mortgage I can only just afford. I can’t afford holidays or taking my kids out. I’m dipping into my Superfund if I need money urgently.

I have been to the death of infants, multiple road fatalities, suicides, endless assaults, told many families their loved ones have died, been assaulted, abused, worked decades of shift work, threatened to have my house burned down by gang members, worked through pay freezes, the constant crap pay rises, constantly had to fill other positions, and work alone.

The Police have to do Oranga Tamariki’s work, mental health’s work, attendance officers work, attend events as security, and saved parliament only to be what feels like a stab in the back now!"


Association email to members


Kia ora,

Yesterday we finally received a pay offer from NZ Police which was authorised by Cabinet.

What is the NZ Police offer?

  • A 3-year term – 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026.
  • A general wage increase (GWI) of $5,000 from 1 November 2023 with allowances moving by 5.25% (note: this is not backdated to 1 July 2023)
  • A GWI increase of 4 percent from 1 September 2024 with allowances also moving by 4% (note: this is again delayed and not effective from 1 July 2024)
  • A GWI increase of 4 percent from 1 July 2025 with allowances also moving by 4%
  • Police propose a pilot to test the mechanisms required to move to paid overtime by 30 June 2026 or earlier
  • A clawback* – replacing all meal allowances (daily, shift, overnight, travelling) and incidental allowances including CIB investigators incidental expenses allowance with reimbursement of actual and reasonable expenses discussed in advance with a manager and on production of satisfactory receipts.
  • A clawback on leave accumulation.  The current 45 day accumulation for all types to be reduced to 35 days.
  • A clawback on short notice shift changes (SNSC). Any changes of shift where the start and finish time is moved forward by any period up to and including 3 hours for operational purposes is NOT eligible for SNSC.

* a clawback is the removal or reduction of a current benefit

What does your association think of the offer?

No backdating

  • It is an insult that the first increase is not backdated to 1 July 2023 and the second increase is not effective until 1 September 2024.  For the record, all the delay is attributed to NZ Police, Treasury, Public Service Commission and successive Governments.

No Health Checks

  • Police employees and Police managers have a Health Check benefit in their CEAs.  To not even offer the $600 annual health check benefit to constabulary members, where your ongoing employment is reliant on passing medical and physical standards, is an affront.

Proposing a 3-year term instead of 2 year

  • Prior to yesterday, the association and NZ Police had only discussed a two-year term. A three-year term introduces a greater element of crystal ball gazing in a volatile economic environment.


  • To introduce three significant clawbacks at this late stage of negotiations, and not address any of our conditions claims while delivering a reduced offer shows both disrespect to and a clear lack of understanding of their own staff and the significant financial strain you are under.

A reduced offer when compared to the rejected PSPA offer

  • Finally, if we remove the third year of this offer, it is less than the PSPA offer members overwhelmingly rejected in September 2023.


The association does not believe this offer will be acceptable to members and will not be putting it out for vote. However, we encourage your feedback by reply email.

As we collate your feedback we will prepare a formal response to this claim. This will include strong public messaging to the government and Police that officers have not been afforded the respect they deserve for continuing to deliver outstanding service in the face of increasing demands, public and political expectations and danger.

I fully understand the frustration involved in patiently waiting while negotiations have been delayed by bargaining and political processes that are inequitable and have failed to deliver the much needed financial relief many of you are desperate for. The association believes you have been taken advantage of due to your inability to take industrial action and we will be exploring how to prevent this exploitation in the future.

We have advised Police that they need to act with haste to improve this offer and that we will meet with them next week to provide members’ feedback and hear from them on what if any improvements they will make. The outcome of this meeting will be crucial in deciding our next steps acknowledging the members require fast progress to an outcome.

Ngā mihi nui,

Chris Cahill

Latest News