Charlie Fowler joined the New Zealand Police for one reason only: he wanted to work on the water.

And when the former Customs diver managed to snare a highly sought-after spot on the Police Maritime Unit, one of the first things he did was introduce a new education tool: the police jetski.

Officially known as a "personal water craft" the jetski, housed at the unit's Mechanics Bay headquarters in Auckland, will be out on the water this summer crewed by Fowler or one of his seven fellow crewmembers.

It is the first summer the craft will be seen on the Waitemata, having been launched in October.


"Water safety is big business at the moment and we've had it out a lot at schools putting the water safety message across," Fowler says.

"We want people to be safe and feel safe and it's all about having the trust and confidence of the general public and we use the jetski for that."

The jetski will be seen anywhere in Auckland's waters from Auckland Central, the North Shore and Manukau, through the summer.

"When I first started the project I wanted to create a police motorbike that's on the water," Fowler explains. "I went to the boss [and said] the PWC is all about prevention. It's not a rescue boat."

When not cruising the city's waterways, the jetski visits schools and safety functions: "Any high profile public events, we'll be there."

So expect to see Fowler and the police jetski at the swim series, at stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking events around the region – everywhere a lot of people are out and about.

"The whole reason I joined the police," the 46-year-old says, "was to join the maritime unit. It's my passion. I've been on the water all my life.

"I love it. I wouldn't want to do anything else."

He joined the police five years ago and learned the job in South Auckland before applying for a "very highly sought-after" position at the Maritime Unit.

"The best bit is going out and being able to engage with the community. We do this to make people feel safe. We get up close and personal and the reactions we've had out on the water have been 100 per cent positive. People want to talk to you and you're able to get close and talk to them. One hundred per cent have said what a great idea.

"If this one is successful I'd like to get some more: a fleet would be nice."

I'm the person who ...

Monday: Makes fireworks

Tuesday: Helps people bungy jump

Wednesday: Looks after the animals at the zoo

Thursday: Rings the church bells

Yesterday: Maintains the outside of the Sky Tower
Today: Police via jet ski

Tomorrow: Destroys your wrecked car