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, literally The Policemen of New Zealand) is the national police force of New Zealand, responsible for enforcing criminal law, enhancing public safety, maintaining order and keeping the peace throughout New Zealand.
With over 11,000 staff it is the largest law enforcement agency in New Zealand and, with few exceptions, has primary jurisdiction over the majority of New Zealand criminal law.
was the first European explorer to circumnavigate and map New Zealand.
From the late 18th century, the country was regularly visited by explorers and other sailors, missionaries, traders and adventurers.
At the outset, official establishment of sworn constables holding common law powers to arrest people was achieved by magistrates being given the power to swear them in via the Magistrates Ordinance of 1842.
By 1846, the emerging organisation of a police force was recognised with the passage of the Armed Constabulary Ordinance.
Early in her service, Maori broke the record between Lyttelton and Wellington, making the passage from wharf to wharf in 8 hours, 23 minutes at an average speed of 20.8 knots on 27 December 1907.In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and various Māori chiefs, bringing New Zealand into the British Empire and giving Māori "equal rights" with British citizens.There was extensive British settlement throughout the rest of the century and into the early part of the next century.War and the imposition of a European economic and legal system led to most of New Zealand's land passing from Māori to Pākehā (European) ownership, and most Māori subsequently became impoverished.From the 1890s the New Zealand Parliament enacted a number of progressive initiatives, including women's suffrage and old age pensions.