By NZ Herald

Sporting royalty were included in a cohort of new police constables who graduated in Porirua over the weekend.

Kiwi Ferns Captain Laura Mariu and Kiwi Ferns player and winner of New Zealand Rugby League 2017 Player of the Year, Apii Nicholls-Pualau have both graduated from the black jersey to the blue uniform, along with 56 other constables from Wing 313 and two narcotic detector dogs.

“It is a huge honour to be a part of New Zealand Police and I have enjoyed my time here at College,” Nicholls-Pualau said.

“I believe the [Royal New Zealand Police College] definitely sets the platform for a better future and I can only hope my experiences will help me better engage with our community and set good examples.

“I can’t wait to make a difference and ultimately contribute to the ongoing success of making New Zealand the safest country.”

Mariu and Nicholls-Pualau will both be posted to Counties Manukau district and start on the beat on May 14.

Tomorrow’s graduation is also a milestone for the role the police has played in helping to build dog section capability in the Northern Territories and the Pacific, said national co-ordinator of police dogs Inspector Todd Southall.

“We have a key role in helping maintain training and development, as well as the supply of dogs to the island nations,” he said.

“It’s about helping protect our neighbours and protecting our borders.”

Senior Constable Dean McKie from the Northern Territory Police is graduating with detector dog Hugo, who was bred at the Dog Training Centre.

He will be attached to the Substance Abuse Intelligence Desk.

Sergeant Tyron Bellman from the Northern Territory Police is currently an operational handler and is the detection training sergeant for the entire Northern Territory Police.

Tomorrow he graduates as a detector dog instructor.

Constable Peter Pureau from the Cook Islands Police is graduating with detector dog Hoss, Hugo’s brother.

The Secretary of Defence and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Defence, Helene Quilter, Minister of Police Stuart Nash, MP for Mana Kris Faafoi and Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement will all be attending the graduation.