Police Commissioner Andy Coster has quietly, but quickly, reshuffled the deck of cards of the senior police hierarchy.
And with one of the big winners in the rejigged line-up set to hold (albeit temporarily) the two biggest portfolios of responsibility, the stage is set for greater change at the top table.
When Wally Haumaha replaced Viv Rickard as the statutorily appointed Deputy Commissioner in 2018, Haumaha did not take on Rickard's role as the officer in the Police Executive whom the 12 district commanders reported up to.
Haumaha retained his role as the head of Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Services (MPES) as a signal to iwi leaders to acknowledge the need to have a Māori officer in high places to turn around inequality in the police and justice system.
Instead, Coster's predecessor Mike Bush internally promoted John Tims as the Deputy Commissioner in charge of the districts.
This increased the number of Deputy Commissioners from the traditional two (one to focus on the districts, the other responsible for national operations) to four.
The other two, promoted by Bush soon after he became Commissioner in 2014, were Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement and Deputy Commissioner Glenn Dunbier.
Both senior officers are highly regarded from their time in leadership roles in the Bay of Plenty district, with decades of operational experience and widely considered to have integrity.
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While Clement went on to become the face of police, often wheeled out as the calm voice in a time of crisis such as the Whakaari eruption last year, Dunbier - a former undercover officer - faded into the background.
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He fell out of favour with Mike Bush early in his tenure and soon after was seconded to a position in Australia, where he was the executive deputy director of the Australian Civil Military Centre.
Dunbier, Clement and Tims were believed to be among the final names to replace Mike Bush as Police Commissioner this year, missing out to the 44-year-old Coster .
One of Coster's first moves in charge was to bring Dunbier back into the fold (and out from the cold of Canberra), replacing Tims as the Deputy Commissioner in charge of the 12 districts.
Tims is now in charge of the "Auckland Project", which is looking at potential amalgamation or restructure of the three Auckland police districts - Auckland City, Waitemata and Counties Manukau - where approximately one-third of all police resources are currently deployed.
While the importance of the police structure in Auckland cannot be understated, internally Tims' new role on the project is seen as being pushed sideways.
After missing out on the top job to Coster, Clement stuck around to help the police navigate the legal and operational minefield of the Covid-19 lockdown but is retiring at the end of June.
It brings down the curtain on a stellar 42-year career, and although the blunt-talking Clement rubbed some people up the wrong way, even his critics acknowledge he was the most operationally experienced on the Police Executive.
The Deputy Commissioner: National Operations is a big job; responsible for overall responsibility for any crisis which arises in day-to-day policing, all the way through to planning for events like the America's Cup, as well as the implementation of Government policy and advice.
So who will step into the big shoes left by Clement?
This was the response from Police National Headquarters:
"Any decision on who will replace Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement on his retirement is still being considered.
"Deputy Commissioner Glenn Dunbier will lead the National Operations portfolio until such time as a decision is announced."
So Dunbier (even if just for a short time) will be in charge of the two biggest portfolios of responsibility, roles which used to be held by the dual Deputy Commissioners.
The delay in announcing a promotion for any of the eight Assistant Commissioners already in the recently expanded Police Executive (there used to be five) is hardly a vote of confidence. Perhaps some of the capable District Commanders, who have seen their influence wane in recent years as the power became more concentrated in PNHQ, will be elevated into the upper echelons.
With Sandy Venables, Tusha Penny and Sue Schwalger promoted to Assistant Commissioner in recent years (the trio are the only women to attain the rank) there is definitely a need to promote more talented, sworn police staff to join them.
Or the delay in announcing Clement's successor may signal there will not be a like-for-like replacement, but perhaps a wider restructure of the Police Executive to further divide responsibilities among a top-heavy management group.
Hovering in the background is the shadow of an Independent Police Conduct Authority investigation into allegations of bullying , which is expected to examine the culture of the Police Executive. The Herald understands the most recent timeline of the release of the final IPCA report is at least four months away.
If the report is critical of the Police Executive - whether an individual is named publicly or not - it will be another joker wild card that Coster will have to consider in any further shuffling of his playing cards. The new Commissioner has made it clear he wants a more inclusive police culture. He's also astute enough to know when to hold them, or when to fold them.