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Police to find recruit by sponsoring 1st XV competition


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Police Association president Greg O'Connor yesterday defended the police decision to sponsor an Auckland secondary schools rugby competition.


Recruitment marketing manager James Whitaker said police would spend around $40,000 a year for the next three years sponsoring the Auckland secondary schools' first XV competition, involving 28 teams.

"We see this sponsorship as a great vehicle to promote the New Zealand Police as a career option to a large number of school leavers," he said.


"We need people who are fit and able to think on their feet and a lot of these people play rugby."


National's police spokesman Chester Borrows said the money could be better spent in other areas, to help turn lives around.


"If you asked a lot of the youth aid officers around the country, they could nominate all sorts of great youth justice projects," he said.


"It's a shame when police have to resort to sponsoring a rugby tournament ... to attract recruits."


Mr O'Connor said the sponsorship was an excellent initiative that had the full support of the police officers' union.


"It's disappointing that the knockers out there are all too quick to put the boot into anything police do," Mr O'Connor said.


The sponsorship would promote policing as a career option among young people who were fit, motivated and disciplined, and from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, he said.


"The sponsorship will also build a positive profile for police with players' friends, families, supporters and wider communities," Mr O'Connor said.


"Communities will see the police putting its money where its mouth is, and demonstrating confidence in local youth."



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