Andrew Coster announced as new Police Commissioner

The new Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.
The new Police Commissioner Andrew Coster. Photo credit: LinkedIn

Top cop Andrew Coster has been confirmed as New Zealand's new Police Commissioner to replace Mike Bush as he heads into retirement. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement on Monday, thanking Bush for leading the police for six years "including during the significant affront to the safety of New Zealanders that occurred on March 15".

Police Minister Stuart Nash said Coster, who is currently Acting Deputy Commissioner for Strategy and Partnerships and who has dedicated nearly 25 years to police service, was deserving of the role.

"The Commissioner of Police is focused on preventing crime and making our communities safer," Nash said.

"Coster has a strong history of accomplishments following his graduation from Police College in 1997, including serving in frontline and investigative roles in Counties Manukau and Auckland."

Ardern said she first met Coster in his role in Central Auckland.

"I've had the opportunity to see him work on policy issues such as recent gun law reforms, but most of all I've observed his passion for a police force that knows its strength lies in what it can achieve with the community it serves."

She said he takes up the role at a time when the Government is "making our communities safer by adding 2000 new police officers to the frontline and reforming gun laws to stop firearms from falling into the wrong hands".

Coster rose to Area Commander in Auckland City Central before becoming the District Commander for the Southern Police District in 2013.

He has been a Solicitor in the office of the Crown Solicitor in Auckland, and more recently was seconded as Deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Justice. 

The Commissioner of Police is appointed by the Governor-General, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, and the recruitment process was managed by the State Services Commission. 

Bush welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday and said it was his "privilege" to have led New Zealand police for the past six years.

"I am happy to be handing over the leadership to someone of Andrew's calibre."

Bush's term ends on 2 April 2020.

Coster has been appointed for a five-year term from 3 April 2020.