Police are cancelling 13 training courses, with a further nine postponed until next year to meet budget constraints, raising fears specialist staff will face added pressure.
Another 25 courses have been cancelled in the past 12 months "to suit the needs" of police.
While some of the courses were being moved into the next financial year, police staff, who feel they're already "under the pump", are concerned about the cutbacks.
The Herald on Sunday understands the cancelled or deferred training includes Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) induction courses, child protection courses, specialist interviewing techniques, and crime scene photography.
The Herald on Sunday also understands an email was sent by the Royal New Zealand Police College to staff members this week advising them of the changes.
Superintendent Scott Fraser, the general manager of training, confirmed the cancellations. But a CIB source said there were "a lot of worried people out there".
"Everyone knows about courses being cancelled, emails [are] flying around everywhere," the source said.
"Cancelling courses because there's no money ... it's putting pressure on units like the CIB who are carrying lots of vacancies and now can't fill the gaps."
The source questioned if there would be enough specialised staff to fill the gaps.
"Who's picking up the slack when we don't have enough trained staff? Everyone is under the pump, staff are run off their feet, stressed, and morale is at rock bottom.
"What's next? 'Can the last one to leave the Police College turn off the lights because we can't afford the electricity any more?'"
Fraser said the cancelled courses cover a range of specialist policing areas.
He said towards the end of the financial year budget considerations "may be a factor as business groups work to meet their budget allocation".
"For example in the last 12 months 25 courses were cancelled which covered a number of specialist areas."
"While these courses are currently cancelled or deferred, should the demand or need arise for a particular course before the end of June (the end of the police's financial year) this will be accommodated."
Labour spokesperson for police Stuart Nash said the cancellations and postponements were concerning.
"I have nothing but admiration for those in our police force ... but this is the most stark admission I've seen yet that police are simply not getting the funding they need."
He said it was also concerning to hear of morale slipping in the force.
"When morale drops like this you've got real problems.
"What happens, especially with senior members, is they end up saying 'I love my job, I love what I do for the community, but it's just not worth it anymore'."
Police Association president Chris Cahill said the idea of cancelling courses was serious and "should not be treated lightly".
He said the training cuts were one of "a number of cost-saving initiatives" occurring throughout policing districts towards the end of the financial year.
He said it appeared police had been selective with cuts, and he was told some courses would be moved just a few weeks into the next financial year.
However, he added it was important to continue to "increase performance development" for the community to fully benefit from policing.
Police Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett said she'd been advised that police regularly review training courses, and it was "not uncommon for courses to be cancelled".
"I have been assured by police that these courses will have no impact on the ability of police in these specialist areas."
She said the Government's $503 million crime-fighting package, which was announced by Prime Minister Bill English during his State of the Nation speech last month, included funding to ensure the new 1125 police staff over four years were fully trained.
"I've also been advised that core training such as recruit courses are still being delivered, along with tactical options training nationwide.
"Specialist courses are very important, however it is up to police to ensure they have the right training for their staff. They've assured me that these courses will in no way impact the effectiveness of police's service across the country."
The Royal NZ Police College will still hold 15 specialist police courses from this month until the end of June, Fraser said.
"In some cases, courses have already been delivered multiple times during the year and we have enough staff trained in these specialist areas so further courses are not required," he said.
Fraser added there were currently two full wings of 60 recruits each, while hundreds of training sessions were held in New Zealand's policing districts to "ensure staff continue to be certified in tactical options".
Last year's Budget saw police allocated an extra $299.2 million for the next four years, including $280 million for police pay increases, and $8.2 million to develop the child protection offenders register.
It was the first significant funding boost for police in five years.