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We are the only NZ Police oversight body

We are not part of the NZ Police

Under law we are fully independent

If you have a complaint about the NZ Police, you can come to us

Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake


Find out everything you need to know about making a complaint and how the process works.

How to make a complaint

Online - the quickest way to complain is to use our online complaint form

Email - send us an email info@ipca.govt.nz

Post - write to us at IPCA, PO Box 25221, Wellington 6140

Fax - 04 499 2053

You can download a complaint form (PDF 303 KB) or call us to request one.

Tips on making a complaint

Be clear and concise. Give us as much detail as possible so we can properly consider your complaint.


  • your name and full contact details
  • relevant dates, times and places
  • details of any Police staff involved with your complaint, including names, badge numbers or other details such as rank and/or a description
  • detailed information about the incident or decision you want to complain about
  • any other relevant evidence.
Please note, we will not respond to abusive or threatening language directed at our staff in either verbal or written communications.

What happens next

Once we've received your complaint, we will:

  • write to you within 7 days to confirm we've received your complaint
  • assess your complaint and obtain from Police any necessary information so we can decide how your complaint will be handled.

How long this takes depends on the complexity of the complaint and the time it takes to receive all the relevant information. When we have the information we need we'll decide whether to:

  • coordinate resolution of your complaint
  • oversee the Police investigation of your complaint
  • conduct an independent investigation, or
  • decline your complaint.

We'll let you know by email or letter what our decision is.

In many cases we'll reach an agreement with Police about how your complaint should be addressed. If this happens, Police will contact you with the outcome.

Making a complaint about a matter before Court

You can make a complaint about Police conduct in relation to a matter that's going to Court or has gone to Court.

We can't help with any issue which the Courts have ruled on or are being asked to rule on.

You can talk to your lawyer or local Community Law Centre if your issue is being considered by the Courts.

Your complaint may not be taken further if:

  • your complaint is about something that happened more than 12 months ago
  • the complaint is minor
  • the complaint is considered to be frivolous or vexatious or not made in good faith
  • you're not the person directly affected and the person who is doesn't want us to take further action
  • you make your complaint anonymously and we can't contact you to get the information we need to assess the complaint
  • there is or has been a more appropriate way to resolve your complaint e.g. Court proceedings.

What to do if you don't agree with the Authority's decision

Write to us and tell us why you disagree with the outcome.

If you give us new evidence or there are issues we didn't address, we'll review your complaint and all information collected. We'll write to you with a decision.

For some complaints, this review is completed by the Chair of the Authority.
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