The number of police caught speeding has climbed almost 80 per cent over the past decade, new figures reveal.

Radio New Zealand reported today that 601 police vehicles were caught over the limit by speed cameras in 2005/6. In 2014/15 that rose to 1078.

Speeding in emergency situations is allowed and of the about 7000 speeding notices issued to police in the past 10 years, 3606 were waived.

Of the 1078 notices issued last year, 392 were not waived, according to figures released to Radio NZ under the Official Information Act.

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Some officers who didn't get their speeding infringements waived were fined or taken to court.

The majority of the almost 180 police vehicles snapped 50km over the limit since 2005/6 were in urban 50km zones.

Automobile Association spokesman Mike Noon acknowledged police had a "rare and right" privilege of being able to speed in some circumstances.

"However, a number of those tickets will be for occasions when the police were not speeding to an emergency and then the rule of the law applies to police as it does to every other motorist."

The Police Association said the increase was because of an increase in speed cameras and the hours police were on the road, and a rise in urgent callouts.

"Those numbers of calls for service are increasing, so correspondingly there is a lift in police officers trying to get there and respond as soon as possible," association vice president Luke Shadbolt told Radio NZ.

Police minister Michael Woodhouse said police were held to a high standard, which they mostly met. He said when they slipped from that, they should be treated like anyone else.

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