For Northland woman Constable Paula Kidd leading the karanga — call to welcome guests — at her graduation from the Royal New Zealand Police College was a real honour.

The 32-year-old Whangārei mother of two boys, aged 4 and 6, will hit the beat on Monday following the successful completion of a 16 \[week long course in Wellington.

"My part was to call the police whakatauki —proverb — that talks about standing at the front of the waka and feeling the waves on your face. It was a real honour to be able to do this in front of my family."

The new constable, of Ngapuhi and Ngati Hine decent, said her interest in joining the police was piqued when she helped with a "Shoebox Christmas" at her son's kindergarten.


Donated gifts were packaged into old shoe boxes and given to the children. The feedback from one parent was it was her child's first Christmas present.

"I knew then I wanted to help my community more. There is so much domestic violence in the Northland area ... and I wanted to show strength to my boys," she said.

So after 11 years working with the Northland DHB as an orthopaedic booking clerk and time in the orthotic team she applied to join the thin blue line.

Graduating with her wing last week was made more special when she was presented with a korowai — cloak — from her mother and partner.

She said those considering a career with police should apply as the training was excellent.

"It's a great physical challenge and mentally it's challenging as well."