They have better work stories, and now New Zealand Police officers are sharing their ink stories, too.

The new initiative on the New Zealand Police's Instagram is encouraging officers to share the stories behind their tattoos.

First up was Constable Stephen Kittle, who works with the Taupo Public Safety Team. His impressive full-length leg tattoo was done by Taupo tattooist Kingi Pitiroi.

Kittle said the double koru represented strength, and the long sweeping curves were the bow of a waka representing a journey and travel.


It signified his journey from Britain to his new life in New Zealand, his family, travel, love of the outdoors and nature, and his time with police.

Constable Rasau Kalivati also shared his turtle tattoo, which he commissioned to give him strength after his dad died in 2002.

The posts are the latest in a series of engaging photos on the Instagram account - including a photo of cannabis stuffed in the backseat of a police car, the use of the hashtag #safercoffeestogether and Byron the dog in uniform.

Good mornings start with good coffees #safercoffeestogether

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Byron looks thoughtful about filing his next re-pawt. NZPolice #photooftheday (photo: Constable Raymond Matthews)

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Police have been lauded for its social campaigns recently. A video of its officers doing the ''running man'' dance won a national award and sparked an international dance-off with police divisions worldwide.

A campaign to recruit and retain women officers also won a diversity award, and another recruitment campaign - a social experiment to see if New Zealanders stopped to help people in need - also gained traction.