Murupara resident Allannah Awhina Chapman-Tapara has won the top female prize at a NCEA accredited Police Studies programme that will see youth have a direct pathway to becoming a police officer.
35 students from Rotorua Boys' and Girls' High Schools have become the first students to graduate from the course.
The Rotorua Girls' Year 13 student is aiming for a career that could one day help her community of Murupara.
“I joined this course because it gave me a really good insight to what policing is all about and growing wanting to be a police officer, what a better way to experience this first hand”.
16 Students from Rotorua Girls' High School and 19 Students from Rotorua Boys' High School are the first to participate in the programme.
Anaru Pewhairangi of Rotorua police says “This is fantastic. I am very happy for these youth on their journey to achieving.”
District Commander Superintendent Andy McGregor sees multiple benefits to the programme.
“One is it actually connects us with the rangatahi in the rohe and another is they get a better understanding on what policing is about, what we want to achieve.”
The course is a collaboration between New Zealand Police and Unitec and covers relevant legislation, policing policies, strategies, procedures and ethics.
Rotorua Boys' High School deputy principal Hamish Lockwood says, “It's a really awesome opportunity for them to have that pathway so they do succeed in that area.”
The students were awarded NCEA Level 3 credits along with a certificate in 'Introduction to Police Studies NZ' Level 4.
Ally Gibbons, principal for Rotorua Girls' High School says, “We just saw it as a great opportunity for our girls to become involved and especially that they could get a qualification with it and there was a pathway for them to follow.”
Next year 12 schools have indicated that they will take on the programme in their area.