Recent Police graduate Constable Ramandeep Kaur Sandhu, 28 yo, is Hawke’s Bay’s first Indian-born female police officer.
She was formally welcomed at a mihi whakatau (a welcome speech by Maori representative), following a two-year-long study and recruitment process.
Ramandeep was born and raised in Punjab and moved to Hawke’s Bay in 2012.
She says her first years in New Zealand – acclimatising herself to new people, culture, and lifestyle – were challenging.
She working different jobs in orchards, hospitality, and customer service to start with.
“I have always been interested in the investigative side of police work, so joining Police seemed like an obvious career to pursue. I also found out there were no Indian female police officers in Hawke’s Bay. Yet, I had no idea where to start.”
Soon Ramandeep learned about the Services Pathway programme run by the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Hawke’s Bay.
Raman says she had a great experience at EIT, as the programme helped her with her application to join Police.
At the mihi whakatau at Hastings Central Police Station, Raman spoke about her journey:
“I want to make my family proud to see me in my blue uniform as no one in the history of my family has ever done something as big and splendid as getting into New Zealand Police.”
Eastern District Commander Superintendent Jeanette Park says the team is delighted to have Raman join them.
“She is the first Indian woman police officer in the region and I am sure her ability to speak three languages – Punjabi, Hindi and English – will be extremely useful.”
Hawke’s Bay is a region on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island and is well-known for its beaches and wineries.
Raman says there are many Indians in the Hawke’s Bay community – and she feels she will be able to connect, gain their trust, and help make them feel safe.
“I want to be there for the wider community. I would love to make a positive difference in every aspect of people’s lives wherever I can. I want to be the best possible version of myself but also inspire more females from diverse backgrounds to join Police.”