Inspector Renee Perkins excited about new role


Kāpiti-Mana Area Commander Inspector Renee Perkins. Photo / Grace Odlum

Christmas was extra special for one policewoman when she was appointed Kāpiti-Mana’s new area commander.

Inspector Renee Perkins, who has been with the police force for 26 years, described her new role as like coming home as she spent her high school years at Kāpiti College.

She splits her time between the Porirua and Kāpiti police stations, with the majority in Porirua.

Her role involves ensuring the police team, which covers from Tawa to Peka Peka, is equipped enough so that leaders can lead, and so that everyone knows what is expected of them.

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She is also a member of the district leadership team which meets regularly to have a collective view of what the district’s needs are.

The Wellington police district encompasses Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Kāpiti, Porirua and Wellington City.

She describes herself as a ‘servant leader’ but says different situations require different styles of leadership.

While crime challenges had always been there, now that we are recovering from Covid-19, dealing with rising interest rates, and preparing for the upcoming election, pressure on the police is increasing, she said.

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“We’ve got a responsibility to work with our partners in other organisations to do what we can collectively towards the goal of finding solutions.”

Youth development and activities are one solution that Perkins thinks is especially important.

“We need to find the kids something to do so they’re not bored and getting up to mischief.”

Kāpiti-Mana Area Commander Inspector Renee Perkins. Photo / Grace Odlum
Kāpiti-Mana Area Commander Inspector Renee Perkins. Photo / Grace Odlum

With ageing and growing communities, Perkins felt there is a variance in socioeconomic situations right across the area, which means that serving each community to their expectations is a key challenge.

She said finding the right partners and ensuring they are working with them is a priority for her, especially with the holiday period ending.

“My vision is thriving communities.”

Her police career started on the frontline in Wellington City and moved into district roles in eastern Wellington. She spent more than a decade in diplomatic protection, where she was involved in royal visits and other high-profile visitors such as Hillary Clinton. She was also a trainer at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua and she worked at the police national headquarters as part of the national road policing team.

She also had a role as a liaison for Police Commissioners Mike Bush and Andrew Coster, which she described as a real honour.

A highlight of her career was in 2014 when she was on a royal tour duty where she was the principal protection officer for the Duchess of Cambridge.

Perkins has always loved learning and has studied continuously since leaving school.

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She has completed a masters in Māori and indigenous leadership and is at an intermediate level of the te reo language. She’s also a qualified yoga teacher and has studied homoeopathy.

“I have always studied something, be it a short course or something bigger.”

Perkins enjoys being among nature and treasures family time with her 18-year-old son too.

This is a Public Interest Journalism funded role through NZ On Air

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