The Police Association says there's a lot more work to be done hiring new police, despite a net increase of 900 in the past two years.
The coalition Government hailed the graduation of 59 constables on Thursday as proof of meeting its 1800 new officers target.
But Police Association president Chris Cahill says while it's a good start, they need a bigger net gain in officers.
"Eighteen-hundred new recruits have gone through in just over two years - in that time a number have also left, approximately 900."
In October, the Government appeared to switch the 1800 target from over-and-above the previous number, to just new recruits - regardless of how many had left in the meantime.
Police announcements last year suggested they were expecting 1800 more officers, not 1800 minus however many quit the force.
"We'd probably disagree on whether it's meeting a target, but would certainly agree that it's a really positive occasion... a 900-plus gain," said Cahill.
And the new officers come from a more diverse background than previous intakes, something Cahill says is worth celebrating.
"I'm always amazed with the caliber and the quality of people coming through - we've now got our first Afghani female who's joined."
Police Minister Stuart Nash on Thursday said 42 percent of the new officers are women, 15 percent Māori, 5 percent Asian and 5 percent Pasifika.
Cahill says the Government has a lot more work to do to reach the original promise of 1800 net gain.