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They make an arresting couple but new police recruit Craig Hays and Constable Terri-Anne Paea are more interested in their criminally cute new daughter Emma – who's the love of their lives.

The four-month old's mum, Terri-Anne graduated from Police College in May last year and has been flat out ever since while Craig is half-way through police training and will graduate later this year.

The couple - who met at Papakura High School - say the Police Preparation programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa helped them realise their dreams, despite them both having different strengths.

 Since she was 16, Terri-Anne knew she wanted to join the police.

However,  a sports injury meant she had time to kill before she was able to complete the physical component of the training so she undertook a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Conflict Resolution at AUT.

"I had to have three surgeries," recalls the 24 year-old.

 After completing her degree, Terri-Anne enrolled at TWoA in 2014 and says she found parts of it challenging.

"The 2.4km run tripped me up. I couldn't make that time until the very end but the fact that you're one of 20 who have the same goal, it felt just like a family - especially compared to uni," she says.

 Terri-Anne is currently on maternity leave from the police while Craig completes his police training in Porirua.

It's a change from his former career as a butcher, which he entered straight from school.

However, Terri-Anne supported his decision to follow her footsteps into the police and he signed up for the Police Preparation programme a year after his wife.

He says the fitness side of the training was the easiest for him.

"The fitness side was good and I passed quite easily, but I was not confident because my study was not that strong. I went to school to eat my lunch," he laughs.

"Terri came to the wānanga because she lacked the fitness side, I came because the study side helped me out. I liked it. It was a bit of a challenge but the support here; the study and the extra classes and tutorials, it helped big time."

Now the 25-year-old looks set to graduate on December 8 and will head straight to Manukau for field training.

 The couple are hopeful they could both be stationed at Papakura, where they have plenty of whanau support, but are happy to be in a career they love.

"As long as I am able to make a positive influence on the community, I will be more than content in any role I am placed in," says Terri-Anne.

 "For me it's also about creating a legacy for my family and friends to follow."

Craig agrees; "It's not just a 9 to 5 job. We're setting ourselves up for our little girl. "

 

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Published On: 8 Nov, 2016

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