Courage and initiative Education

Brushing up on skills to serve the community


A push for more police graduates has led to a special class at Literacy Porirua to help potential recruits pass the challenging entry test.

Anyone who fails the test must wait 12 months before they are allowed to sit it again.

The weekly three-hour preparation classes cover numeracy, verbal and abstract reasoning, critical thinking and communications skills.

While there have regularly been one or two students preparing for the Porirua-based Royal New Zealand Police College entry test, this year a free class was begun in January.

This year there seemed to be a momentum to have a class,” says Literacy Porirua manager, David Watt.

When the Daily Encourager visited a class recently, students were in varying stages of applying or planning to apply to the College.

Literacy Porirua tutors, from left, Howard Lukefahr, David Watt, manager, and Janet Webster around the table with class participants

Serving their community

A shared passion is to serve their communities.

But the psychometric test demands high literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills; hence, the demand for the class to help with brushing up.

The students, ranging in age from 20s to early 40s, are a mix of ethnicities including kiwis, Pasifika, Asian, Middle Eastern and South American. For two of them, English is not their first language. Several are fluent in more than one language.

A few live in Wellington and the Hutt Valley but most are locals from Porirua.

A better New Zealand

Motivations were varied but all wanted to make New Zealand a better and happier place.

One wanted a job that was anything but nine to five and offered new challenges every day.

Another said it was time to give back.

Another said he was keen to experience “the thrill of changing someone’s life by trying to help them.”

One man’s mother works in the justice system and had pitched the idea to him of joining the police.

One of the women said she wanted to make a difference and didn’t want a desk job anymore.

Another was a non-sworn police staff member who wanted to become a police officer.

Most of the students were working on improving their fitness for the rigorous physical test but said the psychometric test was “the scariest”.

Thinking on their feet

A key skill is for applicants to be able to think on their feet. There are likely to be lots of abstract questions.

But all agreed they enjoyed the class which had its fun elements.

One of the former students who has passed the psychometric test and fitness test said the Literacy Porirua class was “very helpful” and anyone doing it would learn a lot even if they weren’t planning to apply for the police. He found the maths refresher part really helpful.

Another who has passed the psychometric test said he had left school young and needed to upskill in maths and spelling. He didn’t think he would have passed the test without doing the course and a similar one at another provider. There are several organisations in the Wellington region offering the courses.

His motivation to join the police was his Christian faith and the opportunity to help people.

David Watt says Literacy Porirua has made a point of liaising with other organisations to increase its student base.

He says the police college often refers inquirers to the course.

The Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua where cadets will do 16 weeks of training

The college has five to seven intakes a year of between 40 and 80 recruits per wing.

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For more information:

Go to the the Literacy Porirua website click here


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