New Central District Police Commander Superintendent Scott Fraser says there will be no progress without listening to the community first.
Fraser was welcomed into his new role last week and said it was "a great first week".
"It's really important to get out early and meet everyone," he said.
The newly appointed superintendent said listening to the needs of his staff and community across the district would be his first priority.
The central police district covers an area that stretches from the North Taranaki Bight, across to Ruapehu, south to Ōtaki in the west and across to the Tararua ranges in the east.
He said it would take time to hear everyone's voice.
"I think it is one of the most important things. I don't agree with coming in with pre-conceived ideas, it is not that I'm without ideas, but if you don't listen to your own community, how do you progress?"
Fraser will be based in Palmerston North but said he would look to be travelling through the region regularly.
"I won't be the one just sitting in the office," he said.
"I won't be on the frontline, we have a fantastic team for that. But I will be out on the road and out in the district because that is a great way to hear from people. It is a big district and I can't be everywhere at once."
Fraser has held a variety of roles during his 28 years with New Zealand Police, including frontline, Criminal Investigation Branch and Armed Offender Squad. He was deployed to the Solomon Islands before being promoted to Inspector in 2008.
He said these experiences had helped shape his own personal leadership style and taught him to listen and allow others to speak.
"I'm a great believer in collective thinking," he said. "I've learnt that if I take the collective thinking of my people and thinking of the community, we come up with some awesome solution.
"I am a bit of an ideas person myself, but I tend to lean towards letting others speak and voice opinions because that is where you get the real gold."
Part of the police response team to Covid-19 last year, Fraser said it showed that when police and Government organisations work well with the community, amazing things can happen.
"It is a really good example of what we can achieve when we have a good, collective response. We were all working together, and the community worked with us, and look at where it has got us."
He said he is "unashamedly" focused on the wellbeing of his staff which, in the long-term, will ensure the community stays safe.
"One thing I truly believe in is the better I care for our police staff, their wellbeing, their safety, their development, the better job they do for the community," Fraser said.
"If you don't look after your own people, how can they go out and be positive and engaged, find solutions and resolve people's problems?
"I do have a focus on our own people, not at the expense of the community, but actually for the community. Those are my immediate goals."
Fraser will be in Whanganui next Friday meeting with the Community Advisory Board to meet members of the community as he settles into his new role.