An experienced Northland police detective has received the Sir Woolf Fisher Police Fellowship to honour service with the opportunity to travel and study internationally.

Detective Sergeant Jon Gower, based in Whangārei, was one of 14 staff from around the country to receive their awards from Sir Noel Robinson, chairman of the Sir Woolf Fisher Trust, at Police National Headquarters in Wellington last week.

As well as rewarding hardworking staff, the fellowships also acknowledge the invaluable support of partners and families who enable police to give their best to the job.

Gower joined police in 1994, following in the footsteps of his father. In his 24 years Gower has worked in multiple roles including as a frontline constable, a detective within the CIB and a Detective Sergeant within Intelligence.

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"It's an honour to have been awarded the Fellowship – I'm thrilled," Gower said.

"Awards like this would not be possible without a great team behind you and I have been fortunate to work with – and continue to work with – really dedicated members of the police who in their own right would also be worthy recipients," Gower said.

Commissioner Mike Bush said the Fellows came from all walks of life and all parts of policing.

"The Fellows are frontline officers as well as those who work behind the scenes to serve their communities."

"What they all have in common is their dedication and commitment to policing."

Each Fellowship comprises funding for international travel for up to eight weeks and for a partner to accompany them.

The trip includes time to holiday and to undertake a pre-agreed programme of study.
This year's recipients are only the second to ever receive such awards and are for staff at the rank of Constable up to, and including, the rank of Inspector, and non-constabulary equivalent positions.

The Sir Woolf Fisher Police Fellowships were established in September 2017 and many of the 2018 Fellows are currently studying abroad or have recently returned.

Senior Constable Atawhai Henare of Whangārei, Senior Constable Rowena Jones of Kaitaia, and Inspector Chris McLellan, based in Kerikeri, were in the first group of police staff who were recognised for their sustained excellence and dedication to New Zealand Police and communities.


Sir Woolf Fisher (1912-1975) was the co-founder of Fisher and Paykel and foundation Chair of New Zealand Steel.

In 1964, Woolf Fisher was knighted for his outstanding contribution to industry and education in New Zealand.

Sir Woolf was passionate about education and in 1960, established the Woolf Fisher Trust to fund overseas fellowships for deserving New Zealand principals and teachers.