Paddy O’Brien: Police Wing Patron

Paddy O’Brien (ONZM) takes up a new role as Wing Patron, offering unwavering support and guidance to the upcoming generation of New Zealand Police officers.

Mr O’Brien has been officially named Patron of Wing 370, which sees him mentor 60 recruits as they begin their police training next month. 

The former New Zealand Police Officer said he was humbled by the invitation.

“This is a huge honour, so I’m quite rightly chuffed about it.”  

Mr O’Brien joined Police as a 19-year-old in 1978 and served until 1995, retiring at the rank of Detective.

“It’s been a long time since I undertook my police training, but I remember how important the programme was. It played a huge role in establishing my professional career and my work ethic,” O’Brien said.

I’m looking forward to meeting the recruits and encouraging them through their initial 20 weeks of training.”

Since leaving the Police, Mr O’Brien has forged a successful career as a rugby referee. He became the world’s first professional rugby referee and after that has been employed by World Rugby, most recently as the High Performance 7s Referee Manager. He is the Chair of ILT and serves on a number of other boards.

Commissioner of Police, Andrew Coster said it would be an honour for their newest recruits to have Paddy as their Wing Patron.

“A patron can shape the ethos of the recruit wing and thus influence the lives of new Police officers. As a role model, Paddy has had significant influence and impact in his career, as a former Police officer and as an international referee, mentor and leader with the IRB.”

The patron role is set up to influence and guide the recruits to success throughout their training programme at The Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC).

Mr O’Brien will join the 60 recruits of Wing 370 at the official Powhiri on 3 July as they are welcomed to the police training programme.

Previous Wing Patrons include Dr Hinemoa Elder, Former Commissioner of Police Mike Bush, rugby league legend Howie Tamati, Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard and former Black Cap Grant Elliot.