Auckland's top cop has been awarded a prestigious title at an international conference for her work on the controversial Roast Busters investigation.

Superintendent Karyn Malthus, the District Commander for Auckland City, was named Most Outstanding Female Investigator at the International Women in Law Enforcement Conference in Australia last night.

She was one of two recipients of the award.

Malthus was recognised for her work in leading Operation Clover - a multi-agency team tasked with working together on the Roast Busters case in 2014.


Roast Busters was a group of predominantly West Auckland youths. Members, including Joseph Parker and Beraiah Hales, who bragged online about having sex with drunk and underage girls.

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Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced the win this morning on Twitter with a congratulatory message for Malthus.

"My congratulations to Superintendent Malthus, this award is testament to her achievements and ongoing leadership for women in police," Bush said later in a statement.

He said nomination for the award cited her "impressive oversight, command and direction, mentoring and guidance" to her team in her leadership of the review.

It further recognised her work in other leadership roles, her mentorship for the development of women in Police and her active support for district Women's Advisory Networks.

In accepting the award Malthus acknowleged the efforts of the investigation team.

Two other New Zealand Police officers were nominated for awards.


Detective Senior Sergeant Kylie Schaare, Crime Strategy Manager in Canterbury District, was nominated for Most Outstanding Female Leader award.

And Sergeant Whiti Timutimu, a Maori Responsiveness Adviser based at Te Runanganui ō Ngati Porou in Gisborne, was nominated for the Most Outstanding Female Practitioner award.

Malthus took over as District Commander for the Auckland City police district late last year.

Her patch covers the CBD and fringe suburbs stretching out to St Heliers, Onehunga, Avondale and Waiheke and Great Barrier Islands and while geographically it is the smallest district in the country, it has the biggest population - and one of the most diverse, with about 420,000.

Malthus oversees about 1000 police staff and says her vision for the district is simple.

The Most Outstanding Female Investigator Award is open to current or former female employees of Australian, New Zealand or Pacific policing, law enforcement or justice agencies.

Contenders are nominated and must fit strict criteria.

The must have "tangibly improved how criminal investigations respond to crimes against the community and/or how they interact with female offenders" and show outstanding on-the-job performance.

They must also have "mentored, supported and provided guidance to others within law enforcement, particularly women" and enhanced the profile and professionalism of women in law enforcement.

Malthus was announced as the winner at an awards dinner last night at the Cairns Convention Centre as part of the 2017 International Women & Law Enforcement Conference.