The Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police (RNZMP) provide military police services to the New Zealand Army, including criminal investigative services. It consists of one major unit, 1st (New Zealand) Military Police Company; though members of the Corps are included in other units within the New Zealand Army. The Corps is a Combat Support element responsible for the Policing, Investigation, Custodial, Security and Battlefield Circulation Control support to New Zealand Defence Force Land elements. Personnel within the Corps include Commissioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of both the Regular Force and Territorial Force.
History Pre-1915As a Corps, RNZMP date from 1915. However there are links to earlier Military Policing.
Provost Marshal Lineage As the executive representatives of the Provost Marshal of the New Zealand Army, RNZMP can claim the same ancient lineage as the UK's Royal Military Police.
The first record of a person conducting the duties of a Provost Marshal stem from 28 May 1241, when Henry II appointed William of Cassingham as a Military 'Sergeant of the Peace'. He and his Under-Provosts were the ancestors of the modern Royal Military Police.
The first recorded Provost Marshal in English history of whom there is a personal record is Sir Henry Guldeford (or Guylford) appointed in 1511. The Provost Marshal was responsible for maintaining discipline within the English armies together with the King's personal security, and was also described as the 'first and greatest gaoler of the Army'. As the Provost Marshal's office gradually assumed more and more duties of a policing nature within the Army, he was provided with State-paid troops, referred to in Henry VIII's day as Provost Companies.
Articles of War of 1591, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth laid down that: "No man shall resist the Provost Marshal, or other of his officers, in apprehending any malfactor, but if need be shall aid and assist him..."
During the Peninsula War of 1813-14, Duke of Wellington asked for a Provost Marshal to be appointed to hang looters; by the end of the Peninsular War the Provost Marshal controlled 24 Assistant Provost Marshals. The Assistants were also authorised to hang offenders and eventually each division had its own Assistant Provost Marshal.
New Zealand Colonial Days: Further information: New Zealand Police and New Zealand Defence Force New Zealand (NZ) become a colony of Britain in 1840. Policing within NZ started the same year with the arrival of six constables accompanying Lt. Governor Hobson's official landing party to form the colony of NZ. Early policing was by a colonial police force, part police and part militia. With many of its first officers having seen prior service in either Ireland or Australia, this early force resembled a military police unit.
The New Zealand Armed Constabulary Act of 1867 established an organized structure for a group that operated along gendermarie lines. The Armed Constabulary took part in the New Zealand Land Wars against Māori opposed to colonial expansion. Still part police and part militia, this organisation can be considered as the predecessor of military policing within New Zealand.
The Police Force Act of 1886 established a single centralized Police Force. At the same time, government moved the militia functions of the old Armed Constabulary to the forerunner of the New Zealand Defence Force called in 1886 the New Zealand Permanent Militia. The New Zealand Permanent Militia, and later the New Zealand Military Forces, did not have a formal military police element. However, during the Second Boer War (1899–1902) individual NZ soldiers served with the British Mounted Military Police in South Africa.
1914-1990 During World War I NZ Military Police served on all fronts where NZ soldiers fought as part of 1 NZEF. They were all mounted, and the MP squadron with the Mounted Rifle Brigade in the Middle East was allegedly the subject of a very favourable report from Major-General Chaytor, commander of the NZ Brigade. After the Armistice, the NZ Military Police were disbanded.
During World War II, the NZ Military Police were re-established. The first detachment of NZ Military Police sailed for the Middle East in January 1940, where they served on all fronts and in all engagements with 2NZEF. Duties mainly included Battlefield Circulation Control, Policing and Investigations. Major E.W. Hayton was awarded the DSO for outstanding Provost Duties at the Battle of El Alamein as Assistant Provost Marshal, while Major R.R.J. Jenkin was commanding the NZ Divisional Provost Company at the same battle. Major Jenkin was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Deputy Provost Marshal in Italy. After the war ended, the Military Police were again disbanded.
On 18 February 1949 the New Zealand Military Police were re-gazetted, and re-formed on 24 March 1951. On 18 July 1952, Her Majesty the Queen granted assent for the title "Royal", and the Corps became the Royal New Zealand Provost Corps (RNZ Pro).
In 1952, a Colonel Commandant was appointed to the Corps. The first was Colonel E.W. Hayton, DSO, ED and on his death in 1957 was succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel R.R.J. Jenkin, MBE until 1968.
In August 1955 the first peace-time Regular Force Commissioned Officer was appointed to the Corps. This was Captain D.J. McLeod who had first seen service with the Scots Guards and later with the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the Royal Military Police. Captain McLeod was appointed Head of Corps RNZ Pro at Army Headquarters and held this appointment until October 1962 when a reorganization of the Corps took place.
RNZ Pro personnel served with the New Zealand elements sent in support of the British response to the Malayan Emergency and in the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation. RNZ Pro personnel were also sent with NZ troops to the Vietnam War.
On 1 October 1962, the first peace-time Provost Marshal of the New Zealand Army was appointed: Lieutenant Colonel R.H.F. Holloway, OBE, RNZA. Following this, in 1964 the first Regular Force Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal, Lieutenant Burton, was appointed.
RNZ Pro personnel were stationed with 1 RNZIR in Singapore as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve from about 1972 until 1989. They formed part of a multinational Military Police unit, along with Royal Military Police, Royal Australian Corps of Military Police and service police from the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Royal New Zealand Navy.
From 1979 until the mid-1980s, RNZ Pro / RNZMP personnel provided security at the New Zealand Embassy in Moscow.
On 18 December 1981, HM Queen Elizabeth consented a title change and a new corps badge. The title was changed to the Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police.
Current Role The current role of the RNZMP is: to police the force, and provide police support to the mission. "Policing the force" refers to activities focussed internally on own troops, while "police support to the mission" refers to activities applied on a military force's objectives.
The five functional areas of RNZMP are:
Battlefield Circulation Control
Domestically (within NZ), RNZMP focus primarily on policing operations to prevent crime affecting the military community, and investigations into incidents involving military personnel or property. MP are also deployed on security tasks within NZ when required.
Deployed activities focus primarily on the policing/investigation and security functional areas. MP may form part of a multinational MP unit conducting own force policing and investigations, or may be deployed as a standalone MP element within an NZDF deployed force. MP also provide Close Protection to Senior NZ military officers and government VIP within military theatres.