Twice as many Hawke's Bay police feel "engaged" with their jobs this year, after just 9 per cent said they were last year.
Police's annual workplace survey showed Hawke's Bay results increased in all major sections - although almost all measures were lower than the national average.
The survey was responded to by 116 Hawke's Bay officers. They were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with 50 different questions about their job, and the combined results were published in a report.
Last year, the key measure - engagement - showed Hawke's Bay officers were more than four times as likely to be "disengaged" than the other way around. This year, the ratio increased dramatically, and almost evened out, at 18.1 per cent engaged to 20.7 per cent disengaged. The rest, 61 per cent, were ambivalent.
Other results increased, including the highest rated, "I am strongly committed to the work I do" with an 87.8 per cent agreement rate.
However, six of the eight total section scores were still below the New Zealand Police average, with one being higher and one equal. Less than half would recommend police as a great place to work.
"Up is up," said Paul Ormerod, Police Association region director for the Eastern District.
"There are a lot of positive things happening in Hawke's Bay and the Eastern District as a whole. The family violence project in Gisborne is showing signs of making quite an impact. There's a new station in Napier, and a new District Commander [Inspector Tania Kura]," he said.
Across the Eastern District, which includes Hawke's Bay, Tairawhiti and Eastern headquarters, the survey showed 34 per cent of respondents said staffing levels were the number one most needed change to improve police. This was followed by 27 per cent who said managers and senior managers.
Mr Ormerod said Hawke's Bay would not receive any more police this year, as 15 of the 19 new officers have already been added, and the remaining four were going to Wairoa.
"So Hawke's Bay isn't actually getting any new positions this year."
Police Association president Chris Cahill said some police around the country were worn out by constant restructuring.
"A lot of change has gone on in police ... in a variety of different ways of doing business, a lot of restructuring, a lot of rotations of staff, new initiatives constantly. That's been happening pretty full on for the past five or six years, and there's a bit of exhaustion around that."
He said the announcement of new police was welcome, but almost catastrophically late.
"It was left far too long. We can't have a system that waits until it's nearly broken and then gives it a big lump sum of staff every 10 or 12 years.
"It's basically got to breaking point before these resources were announced, and then there's a four year lead in to get them all."
Eastern District Commander, Inspector Tania Kura said the survey results showed staff continued to be committed to the job.
"The district has a dedicated and highly motivated workforce, with the top rating response showing that 87.8 per cent of staff remained strongly committed to the work they do, with 79 per cent motivated to do their best every day.
"We acknowledge that while we have made gains, there is still more work to do in some areas to lift engagement and bring us into line with the national average, we will be focusing on this going forward."