Changes to the passing criteria for the New Zealand Police physical test mean an extra 19 per cent of prospective officers may be able to successfully complete it.
The physical appraisal test (PAT) consists of a 2.4km run, press ups and a vertical jump and grip strength test.
Until December 18 last year, applicants had to meet the minimum requirement for each activity to pass, but now the test is run on a points-based system.
Depending on the Body Mass Index (BMI), applicants are now expected to complete the tasks to a certain standard, and can earn extra points for excelling.
The old test system was definitely disheartening . . .
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They must make up at least 11 points, but the new rules mean if they are not as strong in one area, they may be able to make up for it in another area.
In September and October last year, 60 per cent of applicants passed the PAT under the old rules. If they had been assessed with the new criteria, 79 per cent would have passed, a police spokesperson said.
Jess, who didn't want her surname used, said the new rules were "much more encouraging for people like me who really want to do this and follow this career path but might struggle a little more with the physical stuff, just because of who we are, but could do the rest with flying colours".
"The old test system was definitely disheartening and I could see that it would discourage people from continuing the process, thinking 'oh well I can't do it and I've got nothing to show for it'."
Jess used to have to run the 2.4km in less than 11 minutes and 50 seconds. Now she can earn five points for running it in that time, or three points if she gets between 11.50 and 12.50.
"As I've never been much of a runner it's a lot more realistic for me."
Jess believed it was a struggle under the old standards for the police to recruit enough new cops.
"I think that 19 per cent increase will just have to be the recruits who have to work harder at police college, and I'm not afraid to say that I'll probably be one of them."
Bonnie MacGregor hasn't done the PAT yet, but had been worried about the vertical jump test.
News of the changes made her feel "way better" about it.
I think I prefer the old way where everything was a certain time and then you passed, because I thought that that was more consistent in terms of a wide range of fitness.
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"I believe it was definitely the right course of action - a lot more potential police officers will have a better chance."
She said those officers would "show skills in other areas".
"In New Zealand we should definitely be celebrating differences."
Not everybody agrees with the change though.
Sisa Leqa has done the rehearsal PAT and passed everything except the run, which he was a few seconds off.
He feels confident by the time he does the official PAT, he'll be up to standard on the run as well, and thinks all applicants should be judged on the old system, as it was a good way of judging all-round fitness.
We can liken it to the difference between a front row rugby player and a dancer, they will have different strengths, but both will be physically fit.
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"I think I prefer the old way where everything was a certain time and then you passed, because I thought that that was more consistent in terms of a wide range of fitness," he said.
"You need to be fast and you've got to be strong."
Police deputy chief executive of people Kaye Ryan said there were "regular reviews" of physical testing as part of the "holistic approach" to making sure there was a diverse range of people in the police.
"In many cases the applicant may be significantly above the standard in one area, but slightly under the standard for another. This would result in a failed test and the person unable to join police at that time.
"We know we need to recruit physically fit, competent people but not everyone has to be above average across every component of the test to meet that standard. We can liken it to the difference between a front row rugby player and a dancer, they will have different strengths, but both will be physically fit."
Ryan said recruits would continue to be selected to high standards.
"It is too early to say how this will affect numbers of successful applicants, but we know in the past we have missed out on competent applicants who would have made excellent police officers."