The name New Zealand Police Managers’ Guild came into being in 1994 as a result of the 30th Annual Conference determining that as a result of senior non-sworn members joining the Guild, there should be a change in direction by the Guild from the representation of commissioned officer to managers in the police of any rank or designation, constabulary and employee.
Over the years there have been attempts to join the Guild and the Association through a merger or through some form of federation. None of these has been successful mainly through concerns by association members about “senior men in the association damping down the juniors who would be unwilling to speak against those who controlled their livelihoods”. On the Guild side, there was still concerns of a conflict of interest and a belief that the role of leaders, while no more important than others carried responsibilities that required a different way of communicating.
While such concerns are well in the past there is still some reluctance from both the Guild and the Association to a joining of the two organizations. In 1994 the Association changed its rules to allow associate membership to commissioned officers. This was later changed to allow commissioned officers full membership.
Under the leadership of Commissioner Mike Bush, police transitioned to a prevention first based model of policing. This led not only to a more dynamic and community-focused ethos but also redefined the role of leadership and management in Police. During this time the Guild reevaluated its role, membership, and relationship with the Police Executive to ensure it was aligned with and relevant to the modernization taking place. In 2019 the Guild changed its name to The New Zealand Police Leaders’ Guild to better reflect these changes, its role in them, and to acknowledge the changing face of leadership in Police.
With the appointment to the new role, Deputy Commissioner, Leadership and Capability, a clear signal has been sent by the current Police Executive of the importance of Leadership going forward.
The current guild strategic plan, reflected in the one pager sumary, supports not only the changing and dynamic new role of leadership in police, but also the critical role that diversity of leadership has going forward.