Andrew Coster (Major, 1989/93) - OC of the Month - October 2022
Monday, 7 November 2022

Our October OC of the Month is Police Commissioner, Andrew Coster (Major, 1989/93).
Commissioner Coster has an impressive police career that spans over 25 years and has a long list of accomplishments following his graduation from Police College in 1997, including serving in frontline and investigative roles in Counties Manukau and Auckland. In addition to his career in the Police, Andrew has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Auckland and a Master of Public Management from Victoria University in Wellington. He has been a Solicitor in the Office of the Crown Solicitor in Auckland and in 2016 was seconded to the Ministry of Justice as Deputy Chief Executive.
Commissioner Coster was recently welcomed back to King’s College where he was presented with an Honours Tie from the College for service to the New Zealand community.
In this month’s interview we reflect on Andrew’s time at King’s, the highlights of his time at the College, and he shares with us his thoughts on the role he currently holds for the NZ Police.
  • When you were at King’s College, what did you want to do for a career after you graduated?
Not being sure what I wanted to do, I ended up going into sales (business telephone systems and voicemail). That was a great grounding, as I had the opportunity to see many different businesses and meet a wide variety of people. Three years into that, I felt a strong sense of call to join New Zealand Police, and the rest is history.
  • What is your best memory of your time at King’s College?  
I have many good memories of my time there. I enjoyed the house system. Being part of something smaller within the whole created a great sense of team and identity, which was the basis of so much of what went on in the school.
  • Which staff member do you remember most favourably from King's College and why?
There were many great staff members, but I won’t be alone in saying I really valued the contribution of Rev. Warner Wilder as our college Chaplain. He brought a generous spirit and special character to school life around the chapel.
  • What advice would you give to your school age self?
Make the most of that special time at a great school. Life gets more complicated and demanding. You will look back on your time there fondly and perhaps wish you valued it more at the time.
  • Tell us about yourself now and what you do for a career?
I’m the father of three teenage boys and enjoy a range of activities with them. I’m actively involved in my church and my faith continues to underpin who I am and how I see the world. For the time-being, I’m also the Commissioner of Police.
  • What does/did your job involve?    
I’m responsible for ensuring that New Zealand Police is the organisation it needs to be to deliver what New Zealanders expect and deserve – so that we can be the safest country.
  • What are the most challenging parts of your job?
There are many expectations that come with the role – leading our 14,000 people, running a large organisation, and engaging externally, including with the political interface. It’s the juggling of those responsibilities and allocating the right effort to each that creates the biggest challenge.
  • What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
I feel very blessed to occupy the role I do, so I’m not sure I’d class it as an achievement. I’m proud of the team I’m creating and the positive impact we can have on the organisation and in the communities we police.
  • What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
More hours in the day! There is much to do and much that could be done. Time is the limiting factor. Given that’s not going to happen, it’s about managing my time really well, to ensure my family sees enough of me while I meet the needs of my current role.
  • What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
My bible, a hammock and an emergency locator beacon…     
  • How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who served well in the places to which I was called. Someone who made a difference.