Criminals will be steering clear of Ahipara this week as cops from around the country descend on the renowned surf break for their annual surfing contest.

Eighty officers, representing every district in New Zealand, are competing in the 12th New Zealand Police Association Board Riding Champs, which kicked off on Ninety Mile Beach yesterday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston, of Kerikeri police, said competitors were camping at Ahipara but would surf on either coast, depending on the conditions on the day.

Yesterday they competed at Waipapakauri Ramp, about 10km north of Kaitaia.


Nine Far North officers were taking part. Hopes for a local win were riding on Detective Bill Dawson and Constable Rob Cameron, both of Kerikeri police station, Mr Johnston said.

The contest wraps up on Thursday night with a prizegiving ceremony.

Trophies will be awarded for men and women in open, age and novice classes.

The oldest surfers are over 60 years old.

Every district gets a turn at hosting the event. This is the second time it has been held in the Far North.

Mr Johnston said the event had received great support from Far North businesses.