Coercion, Consent and Surveillance: Policing New Zealand
New Zealand, the farthest but also most loyal of the British Dominions, mobilised a huge proportion of its population during the First World War, with the Police Force playing a crucial role. While they were equipped with wartime emergency powers of coercion and surveillance, police generally sought to use persuasion rather than force, assisted—especially in the early period—by a high degree of popular support for the war effort. But the need to coerce oppositional sectors of the population challenged the image which the police sought to project—that of “servants of the public”. In the event a balance was generally struck between “policing by consent” and “policing by coercion”, in line with the pre-war trajectory of policing, an ethos which continued after 1918.