NZ Police pours millions into iPhones and iPads

NZ Police pours millions into iPhones and iPads

Summary: The police department will be spending a total of NZ$163.3 million on rolling out smartphones and tablets, which will give officers an additional 520,000 hours to work in the frontline.


The New Zealand Police will invest a lump sum of NZ$4.3 million and NZ$159 million over 10 years into rolling out Apple iPhones and iPads to its officers.

The decision came about through an 11-month long pilot of new technologies that could assist the police force. The initial three-month rollout process will see 6,086 police officers equipped with the smartphones and tablets.

"Using mobile technology means officers will be able to check offenders' details (like photographs and bail conditions) where and when they need to, rather than having to drive to a station to access information or use the police radio," New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said in a statement. "This means more time to focus on stopping crime and protecting communities, and less time each day on administration duties at their desks."

The move is expected to deliver 520,000 additional frontline hours to the police force. The New Zealand Police said that it expects time savings of 30 minutes per officer per shift, which will be reinvested into preventative policing activities.

Vodafone will be the telco provider for the new mobile devices, according to the National Business Review, but long-time New Zealand police partner Gen-i will continue to supply telco services to the department's operational management and administrative staff.

The mobile device rollout is part of the New Zealand government's Better Public Services strategy.

"This new technology, along with the 600 additional frontline officers delivered by the national-led government and a 70 per cent increase in police foot patrols, will mean more police are out on the streets for longer to keep our communities safe," New Zealand Police Minister Anne Tolley said in a statement.

Topics: Government, Legal, Mobility

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Orwellian "Better Public Services"

    "Better Public Services" -- lol. Wasting tax money = "better for the public"?

    What other alternative devices were considered? Knowing how governments work... probably none.

    Look at my cost comparison between iPads and alternative devices (for, in my example, schools) to see what I am talking about: "Just Say NO to iPad for Education, Part 5: Apple Products Break Budgets" ( )

    I can't believe the whole world is succumbing to the iMadness without even doing due diligence and realizing they could save a lot of money with alternatives that do the exact same thing and do it just as well...
    • Luckily, Google Maps is free

      So they don't have to scounge up extra cash for a good map solution.
      William Farrel
      • Thogh in some places Apple Maps are better than Google maps, and Apple Maps

        ... are exclusive to iOS devices. So it is competitive advantage.
      • No Google Maps

        Hi William, no emergency service in New Zealand is based on google maps, nor apple maps.

        Emergency services all have dedicated data and mapping supply arrangements with local suppliers like Terralink and Map data sciences etc, using server and cache technology from Esri to provide these via custom mapping tools and applications, which are also readily ported to iOS, Android and Windows.

        They cant typically use imagery from google or apple as their satellite imagery is not ortho rectified using local terrain points - eg, to avoid the effect you get of images sliding up and over a ridgeline etc.
    • One reason why

      A local clinic I am doing some PT at recently went paperless using tablets. They had piloted the program with iPads and the pilot went very well. When they deployed, they did it on the cheap with Samsung tablets. Breakage rates are 50% higher and the tablets slow to a crawl when using the web based interface that ends up being very non-responsive requiring 2-3 reboots per day. Their Android based check in computer is dead more often than working.

      Now they are thinking of scrapping the Android deployment and moving back to the successfully piloted iPad people liked.

      At a pretty high cost.
      • Re: At a pretty high cost.

        Presumably the IPads were too expensive to be worth it, otherwise they would have done that to start with.

        Have they looked at Nexus 7s or Nexus 10s?
        • Why would Android magically work better there?

          I doubt changes in hardware would affect long term stability of the web app they interact with given they all would be running JB.

          It reminds me of a good write up on how to spend 1700 on a 1000 tripod written by Tom Hogan. Most of the time it is cheaper to get quality first.
          • Re: Why would Android magically work better there?

            Fewer restrictions on what you can do, better choice of hardware, and cheaper.
      • IPads I Agree

        No other tablet or phone has the number of addons and protective cases.

        I am a samsung user, and pisses me off that some shops dedicate a wall to these accessories while the rest of the devices get next to nothing - check any DSE store for proof.
        • Re: No other tablet or phone has the number of addons and protective cases.

          No other phone or tablet NEEDS that number of protective cases.
    • "Better Public Services"

      Hi Matthew, I agree with you on education, in fact I don't think tablets are suitable for kids at all. Without a keyboard any devices for formal education are not practical for typing beyond a sentence or two.

      The NZ Government has strict processes for procurement and due diligence. In almost all studies NZ is ranked #1 or #2 on corruption practice scales so due diligence will have been undertaken.

      As a samsung tablet and phone user, I wouldn't recommend it for widespread use, there are few official accessories, the builds are different, and they need to standardise on one device that will be widely available for some time from numerous sources. Enterprise deployments need stability if supply, and apple definitely has the best accessory range. My Galaxy Tab 10.1v has one, one Samsung accessory, being a flip over case that adds significant weight.

      Plus our Police Deserve having something fun to use with all the crap they put up with. They dont have guns, so why not iPhones with all that we save on ammunition. ahahahah. no really.