Police Commissioner Peter Marshall has announced his organisation's management structure is to be revamped.
It follows a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers released in January which said many officers believed the police headquarters was out of touch.
Mr Marshall says three assistant commissioners will be geographically based, covering the South Island, the North Island up to Auckland, and the area from Auckland northwards.
The move means the 12 district commanders will have support closer to home, he says.
"Too much time was spent away from districts in headquarters by the all-important district commanders. I want them to focus on their districts, I want them to focus on their staff and this is a way of supporting them."
The district commanders have been reporting to a single deputy commissioner in Wellington, which is not efficient, he says.