The Police Association says Police Commissioner Howard Broad's plan to put guns in patrol car lockboxes is a half measure, and every officer should be armed.
Mr Broad's comments followed the machete attack near Taihape at the weekend which left Senior Constable Bruce Mellor, 57, seriously injured.
Police Association president Greg O'Connor says most attacks on officers occur during routine policing, and the only deterrent for offenders, and defence for officers, is a firearm on the hip.
The Police Commissioner, the Minister of Police and the Prime Minister are all resisting calls to routinely arm the police.
Prime Minister John Key says arming all officers would fundamentally change the relationship between the police and the public, and it's not certain that giving police officers greater access to firearms will make them safer.