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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

Home / Complaints


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

Print and send - you can download a complaint form (PDF 189 KB) to print out and send or call us and we'll post one out to you.

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 have a complaint about our service or don't agree with the Authority's decision

If you have a concern, please let us know in writing. We will read what you say carefully and try to resolve issues quickly and at the right level.

With all complaints or expressions of dissatisfaction we will:

  • deal with all concerns promptly
  • be open and accountable and
  • explain our final decision to you.

Information required

The best way to let us know you are dissatisfied with our service or decision to is use our online expression of dissatisfaction form.

If you are unable to  use our online form, you can print it out or write to us:

  • include your personal contact information – name, address, telephone number and email address
  • include the IPCA reference number (which can be found at the top of any letter or in the subject line of any email correspondence from the Authority)
  • clearly explain what you are dissatisfied with. Be as specific as possible: if you disagree with our decision, please explain why you believe the decision is wrong
  • attach any new information relating to your complaint.

What we will do

Once we’ve received your correspondence, we will review it carefully to decide how it will be handled. 

If you give us new evidence or there are significant issues we didn’t address, we will:

  • reconsider your original complaint and all the information collected
  • contact you either by phone or in writing to let you know the outcome. We will try to do this you within two months, although this will depend on the complexity of the issues you raise.

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