Darren Ian Hodgetts used a colleague's computer log-on to leak confidential information to a target of a drugs investigation for a promised fee of $5000.
The motorway support officer pleaded guilty to accessing the computer system for a dishonest purpose after police busted a large-scale drug ring in November 2011 and made 22 arrests.
Hodgetts admitted he used the national police computer system to look up details of an Auckland man who was under surveillance.
He pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court to accessing the computer system for a dishonest purpose, and was sentenced to four months of community detention.
He was one of two non-sworn staff arrested for making unauthorised National Intelligence Application checks relating to the drug-ring probe.
The 12-month investigation targeted the manufacture and supply of Ecstasy, or pills purporting to be the class-B drug, which were linked to serious aggression that led to people, including schoolgirls, being taken to hospitals in Auckland and Hamilton.
Court documents show Hodgetts was approached by an associate to do a police computer check on Shalendra Singh.
In a bugged phone conversation, Singh allegedly arranged with Hodgetts' associate to organise a police computer check to establish whether there was any police interest in him.
Singh, 32, allegedly agreed to pay $5000 for the confidential information. At first, Hodgetts was unable to obtain Singh's police file because his security clearance was not high enough.
He later checked the database using a computer logged on under a police colleague's identity.
He printed two pages of information which were given to his associate and faxed to Singh. Singh said the information was worth only $200, not $5000.
Hodgetts' lawyer, Todd Simmonds, said his client was sorry for what he had done.
"Mr Hodgetts is fundamentally a decent and generous young man who has made a serious blunder."
He said he was aware that he had breached the trust of the New Zealand police.
"He sincerely apologises to the police ... for any harm his actions may have caused to their good name and reputation in the community."