A former top policewoman says the police should consider allowing people with previous experience to join the force at a certain rank, rather than having to start at the bottom.
Fewer than 18% of police officers are female and even fewer are in the higher ranks.
Former Superintendent Paula Rose told Insight that's partly because it takes a long time to advance and many women choose to leave to concentrate on their families.
She said if they later want to return, they have to start back at the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Ms Rose said many other jurisdictions have more open programmes allowing people to apply for jobs at a certain rank.
She said that could also be a way of boosting the number of women in the higher ranks.